1. ITV Report

Midlands families hope the Budget will help ease the strain

The Girling family are worried about losing their working tax credits Photo: ITV Central

Families in the Midlands say they are being squeezed by government cuts and the proposed changes to child benefit and tax credits.

One couple, Jonathan and Hannah Girling from Warley, on the Birmingham Black Country border, freely admit they are struggling.

Tighter working tax credits putting a squeeze of working parents Credit: ITV Central

As well as bringing up four children - the youngest are twins - Hannah teaches and runs a playgroup on her day off.

Jonathan works from home as a freelance composer but with huge cuts to the arts, the amount he can earn has dropped considerably.

Now they say they have to make a choice between turning on the heating and buying food

Like two million families across the country, the Girlings rely on working tax credits to top up their income.

At the moment a couple can claim if they have sixteen hours of employment a week and a joint annual income of less than forty one thousand pounds.

New rules coming in next month mean people can no longer claim unless they have 24 hours of work.

That means more than 25,000 households across the Midlands are predicted to lose their entitlement.

Jonathan and Hannah Girling have four children under five Credit: ITV Central

The couple who live in Warley say they're unhappy about Iain Duncan smith's flagship welfare reforms which they don't feel send the right message to people like them.

"Making the tax credits part of benefits makes us feel like we are scroungers."

– Hannah Girling

Families like the Girlings hope next Wednesday that George Osborne will prove he is in touch with the issues that matter to them.

On their wishlist is for him to scrap his proposed changes to tax credits, provide incentives to make it worthwhile working, and to help with the soaring cost of childcare.

Families like them throughout the Midlands will be watching closely on Budget day to see whether the Chancellor can ease the strain.

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