Cuts to tax credits will have a significant impact on thousands of families in Sunderland.
The statistics are stark: 5,800 working families in Sunderland Central claim tax credits, part of the nearly 150,000 working families in the North East who claim.
I could have filled this column with statistics, but I would still struggle to get across how widespread the reach of these cuts will be.
These changes, if they go ahead, with touch the lives of so many people in our city.
Furthermore the scale of the cuts are unprecedented. The average family could lose £1,300 a year.
I had a working mother contact me who could lose £1,700 per year.
This will throw her finances into chaos. The cuts to tax credits this Government are bringing in will directly hit low paid working families – surely this cannot be right?
Changes to Tax Credits are scheduled to come into effect in April 2016, with no temporary protection for existing families on tax credits.
This means that working families will have little time to sort out their finances.
Where does the Government think they will make up the money they are losing?
Deep cuts on such a wide scale are likely to have a severe impact on our local economy, with people already struggling to get by having less to spend.
I also worry about what the cuts will do to child poverty.
The Resolution Foundation has found that all the tax and benefit measures announced in the Summer Budget will push 200,000 children, most of them in working families, into poverty next year.
When people get a job to support their families and need the top up of tax credits to make ends meet they should be applauded – instead this Government is hitting them hard.
I voted against these changes, and I will continue to oppose them in whatever way I can, to protect those on low and middle earnings and ensure that work is always rewarded.