The Family and Parenting Institute has concluded that parents-to-be and families with new babies will be amongst the hardest hit by the government cuts this year.
Other families who will be badly affected include those where parents in part-time employment cannot find extra work and large families on low incomes.
“Families are being asked to absorb much of the pain of the changes to UK tax and benefits,” said Dr Katherine Rake, from the Family and Parenting Institute. “This is in addition to family finances taking a hit from the VAT rise, the widely predicted increase in mortgage payments, rising inflation, and increases in food, fuel, clothing and energy bills,” she explained.
Families stand to lose out by the abolition of Child Trust Funds, the Health in Pregnancy Grant and the removal of the baby element of the Child Tax Credit. In order to claim Working Tax Credit, working parents will also need to increase the hours they work from 16 hours to 24 hours per week but may be unable to negotiate this with employers.
“The Prime Minister has said he wants to make the UK the most family-friendly society in Europe,” said Dr Katherine. “This is a laudable ambition. Now his Government must explain how this will be delivered in an age of austerity.”