A WEARSIDE MP claims a new “mummy tax” will leave thousands of women out of pocket.
Shadow Education Minister Sharon Hodgson, who represents Washington and Sunderland West, said the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill will impose “real-terms cuts” on maternity pay, leaving working women giving birth in the year of the next General Election £180 worse off.
The mum-of-two said the £100,000 tax break being given to the country’s highest earners was evidence that the Government favoured millionaires over mums.
“Around 1,000 women in my constituency give birth every year, and many of them will be hit by this unfair ‘mummy tax’,” she said.
“David Cameron promised he would lead the most family-friendly Government ever, but reality shows he is targeting new mums for cuts to support when they need it the most, while those who need it least get massive tax breaks.”
Mrs Hodgson said that figures compiled by the House of Commons Library have confirmed that low-paid new mums could lose up to £1,300 during pregnancy and the baby’s first year from cuts to pregnancy support, tax credits and real-terms cuts to maternity pay.
They are also losing a further £422 from cuts to child benefit over the same period.
Joining Labour MPs across the country in opposing the cuts, which are expected to be made in 2015, Mrs Hodgson is urging residents in Sunderland to sign a petition calling on PM David Cameron to “help mums not millionaires”.
“Families shouldn’t have to pay the price of the Coalition’s failed economic policies, especially not working mums who already face tough financial pressures when they have a new baby,” said Mrs Hodgson.
“Real-terms cuts to maternity pay for many will be the final straw.”
The Government maintains the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill was “an economic necessity” in the current climate.
According to recent figures, it is estimated that spending on welfare between 1997 and 2010 had increased by 60 per cent in real terms, accounting for more than £200billion.
Ministers said the £1.9billion of saving enabled by the Bill in 2015-16 was a necessary part of helping to reduce public spending, tackling the deficit and securing the economic recovery.
For more information about the campaign, visit www.labour.org.uk/mumsnotmillionaires.