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Families 'struggling to make ends meet'

New research suggests parents are facing an increasing struggle to give their families a decent standard of living.

A study from the Child Poverty Action Group says it costs a minimum of £148,000 to raise a child to the age of 18.

The report blames rising costs, coupled with a squeeze on pay and benefits.

The Government says it knows times are tough, but is introducing measures to help.

Helen Ford reports.

Hundreds of jobs to go in Northallerton

A spokesman for the RPA said their priority will be to talk directly with all those affected to listen to "their preferences and understand their individual circumstances."

"We appreciate the decision to leave Alverton Court is disappointing to many of our people.

"However, we will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition for everyone and would stress that this is not about job losses and that we will continue to deliver the same level of service to our customers.

"This decision has not been made lightly and we are working hard to provide as much clarity and certainty to those impacted. All our people who are prepared to work flexibly have been guaranteed a job and all posts will remain in the region."

– Spokesman for the Rural Payments Agency

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Blueprint for economic growth across Newcastle and Gateshead

A masterplan has been discussed to create jobs and homes across Newcastle and Gateshead.

Land has been earmarked for housing developments, business and industry in a bid to kickstart the economy.

  • More than thirty thousand homes are planned to meet growing demand

  • Around three quarters would be built on urban and brownfield sites

  • The remaining quarter are planned for greenbelt land

The 'Local Plan' as it is known, is a framework stretching to the year 2030. It will now go out to public consultation.

A final decision on the plan is expected to be made next year.

Watch Helen Ford's full report here:

Chancellor reveals further job losses by 2016

Chancellor George Osborne reveals there will be further job losses by 2016. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Chancellor has also revealed there will be further job losses by 2016. Around 144,000 more posts are expected to go across the UK. The announcement has been criticised by unions.

George Osborne did stress that for every job lost in the public sector over the last year, five more have been created by private firms.

There will also be a new seven-day wait before claiming unemployment benefits and all job seekers will be required to attend the job centre every week, rather than once a fortnight.

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Analysis: Budget could hit those on low incomes

The Resolution Foundation, an independent research and policy organisation, analysed the Chancellor's 2013 Budget:

  • Personal tax allowances: Small gains for the great majority of tax payers excluding the very highest and lowest earners. However three-quarters of the £1 billion goes to households in the top half.
  • Fuel duty: The freeze on fuel duty will disproportionately benefit lower and modest income families.
  • Childcare: Welcome increase in generosity of childcare support through Universal Credit but only a minority of working low-income families with children will benefit.
  • Housing: Focus on new supply to be welcomed but focus on home ownership is unlikely to benefit those on low and modest incomes.
  • Wages: OBR forecasts show wages have dipped further than previously realised. For the median worker, the downturn has become even more severe.

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Chancellor attacked over public sector workers

The Chancellor is either oblivious to the tough time that millions of public sector workers and their families are having or he is deliberately setting out to punish them.

Public sector workers have seen their pay frozen as the cost of living soars and thousands now find themselves earning less than the living wage.

Family budgets are at breaking point and millions of nurses, teachers, fire-fighters, council workers and civil servants will have been hoping the Chancellor might ease their pain today, not add significantly to it.

– TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady
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Welcome for fuel duty freeze

The decision to cancel the fuel duty increase due in September has been welcomed by the MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey.

This news will be welcomed by many living in Thirsk, Malton and Filey. Obviously, I am disappointed that the Chancellor has not agreed to a rural fuel duty rebate for certain areas of North Yorkshire. Measures in the budget that will help hard working families include future childcare vouchers for working parents or single parents, help with mortgages for new homes, the reduction of tax on new jobs in small companies, as well as the commitment to raise personal allowances so no-one will pay income tax for the first £10,000.

These measures show that the Government is trying to help all with aspirations who are trying to do their best for their families.

– Anne McIntosh MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey
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