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15 Mar 2013

The fight against the attack on families begins in #rdg!

This weekend Reading Labour launch their campaign against the cuts raining down on families in Reading.

This afternoon  Sharon Hodges MP, invited by Victoria Groulef our parliamentary candidate in Reading West, will be visiting Gloucester Road Playgroup to discuss the proposed changes to childcare.  She will also be launching our 'Mums not Millionaires' campaign.

The Government are proposing the increase the number of children each childcare professional can look after.  The childcare sector are opposed to changes to the adult to child ratios.  The Pre-School Learning Alliance have serious concerns that these changes will effect child safety and support (see here). 

Tomorrow (Saturday 16 Feb) we will also be campaigning against the 'Mummy Tax' and 'Bedroom Tax' in my ward, Battle.

The Tory/Lib Dem Government are restricting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from April this year.  It will be increased by just 1% a year which, with the cost of living increasing by 3.3% (RPI see here), is effectively a year on year cut. I have had two children and know how difficult it is to live on SMP as it usually does not cover your pre-maternity income.  It will be even harder when SMP does not keep up with the real costs of living.  This is another cut falling on women and families.

Other cuts this Government have implemented include:
  • The end of the £190 Health in Pregnancy Grant
  • The end of the £250 Child Trust Fund Voucher
  • Child Benefit frozen for 3 years then increasing by 1% in 2014/2015 (another real terms cut)
  • Removing the baby addition to the Child Tax Credit
  • Cuts to the subsidy for childcare through the Working Tax Credit
The effects of the 'Bedroom Tax' are well documented.  Opposition councillors have accused us of scaremongering but the sad fact is, it's the 'Bedroom Tax' which is causing the fear.

People are actually scared for their futures, worrying about how they will find the money to cover this charge and whether they will be able to find alternative accommodation.  Let's not forget this nasty 'tax' may also force people from their homes, communities and away from their support networks.

This is all happening while millionaires are being given a tax cut!  I have nothing against millionaires, well done to you if you have that kind of income, but let's not hammer those least able to afford it while those that can get a break!

If you would like to join us or sign the petitions tommorrow, we will be outside Battle Library from 11.


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