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Lib Dems condemn impact of welfare cuts to thousands of poorest residents

The Conservative Government has brought forward plans for £12billion of cuts to welfare that will directly impact millions of people across the country, including the poorest families in the local area, Mendip Liberal Dems say.  

“In Mendip district, the four year freeze on working age benefits means that 7,850 local residents and their families will lose an average of £260 per year,” say the LibDems. “This includes 5,800 working people whose families will have to make up an average £280 shortfall per year in tax credits.

“Some 660 residents in the Employment and Support Allowance work-related activity group, considered temporarily too ill to work, will lose a further £30 per week as their allowance is brought down to the level of Job Seekers Allowance.

“Other measures include reducing the household benefit cap for families to £20,000, ending automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18-21 year olds, limiting child tax credits to two children from 2017, and reducing the amount of tax credits anyone earning more than £3,300 can receive.”

Mendip Liberal Democrats group leader Councillor Helen Sprawson-White said, “These measures will hurt the poorest people in our community, particularly those who are too ill to work and those in work but unable to make ends meet.

“The Conservative Government does not need to make these cuts, especially at the same time as giving tax breaks to millionaires.

“As our party realised in the last government, it is not possible to address the deficit without looking at the welfare bill, but the Lib Dems ensured that any changes were as fair as possible, blocking many harsh suggestions put forward by the Tories.

“We are now seeing the Tories jump at the chance to implement all those measures that the Lib Dems stopped, forcing those already struggling to make ends meet to shoulder £12 billion saving.

“The Liberal Democrats voted against these cruel and excessive cuts in Parliament, and will stand up for families, whether they are hard-working or just desperate to be hard-working.”