Budget 2009: Campaigners attack 'disgraceful' £20 increase in child tax credit

Child tax credit will increase by just £20 a year from 2010

Child tax credit will increase by just £20 a year from 2010. The budget report said the extra funding for the means-tested benefit was "valuable support to families with children".

The chancellor said the government had been supporting families through tax credits and providing extra help for people suffering a loss of income. He said more people were working shorter weeks and seeing irregular work patterns and reduced wages, and those on lower incomes would get an automatic increase to compensate for loss of income.

He added that 355,000 families were receiving on average £35 a week more support through tax credits. According to the Treasury, nine out of 10 families with children and 1.5 million working people without children already qualify for tax credits.

But the £20 annual increase came as a bitter disappointment to campaigners and charities working to fight child poverty. "It works out at 38 pence a week, which will make absolutely no difference," said Hilary Fisher, director of End Child Poverty. "It is a shamefully small increase."

Fisher said increased benefits and tax credits to help struggling families buy food and basic items were a good way to help the UK's 3.9 million children living in poverty, and accused the government of lacking the will to put back on track the promise it made in 1997 to halve child poverty by 2010 and eradicate it by 2020.

Kate Green, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said the sum was "woefully small". "The money targeted on the children struggling most during the recession amounts to less each week than the cost of a pint of milk. It is disgraceful to give such a pittance," she said.

Darling also announced an increase in the government's contributions to child trust funds for children with disabilities. Children with disabilities will receive an extra £100 contribution each year while those with severe disabilities will receive £200 each.

Contributors

Sandra Haurant and Amelia Gentleman

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Motoring groups attack budget fuel duty increase

Alistair Darling's 2p a litre fuel duty increase could add £200 a year to family motoring costs

Dan Milmo

22, Apr, 2009 @2:43 PM

Larry Elliott: Will voters buy Darling's budget sleight of hand?

Larry Elliott: Darling's budget tried to create a 'dividing line' that you can't cut your way out of recession. But will voters buy it this time?

Larry Elliott

22, Apr, 2009 @6:22 PM

Article image
Budget leaves little hope of meeting child poverty pledge
Compared with previous years, the chancellor has given poverty campaigners nothing much to celebrate, writes Julia Unwin

Julia Unwin

23, Apr, 2009 @10:14 AM

Article image
IFS picks the budget to pieces … again
The economics thinktank has once again identified, then costed, the gap between George Osborne’s rhetoric and reality

Larry Elliott

09, Jul, 2015 @6:05 PM

More cash for first-time buyers' cut-price mortgages

Stamp duty holiday is extended but experts say Darling's housing changes do not go far enough

Lisa Bachelor Rupert Jones

22, Apr, 2009 @8:08 PM

Article image
2010 Budget: Child tax credits cut and child benefit frozen
From April 2011 families with an income of more than £40,000 will see their eligibility for child tax credits reduced, George Osborne announces

Lisa Bachelor and Patrick Collinson

22, Jun, 2010 @7:57 PM

Budget 2009: at a glance

Key details from Alistair Darling's 2009 budget

James Sturcke

22, Apr, 2009 @2:34 PM

Budget 2009: Childcare grandparents given pensions boost
Grandparents who look after their grandchildren will qualify for national insurance contributions towards a full state pension, Alistair Darling says

Sandra Haurant

22, Apr, 2009 @2:34 PM

Article image
Benefits and child credits squeeze pushes 200,000 children into poverty

Government admits statistic that Labour says shows children are victims of Tory 'games' and 'economic failure'

Patrick Wintour, political editor

17, Jan, 2013 @4:24 PM

Article image
George Osborne's attack on child tax credit is indefensible | Tom Clark
Tom Clark: A measure sneaked out in the autumn statement amounts to robbing poor children to pay Mondeo man

Tom Clark

29, Nov, 2011 @6:31 PM