Budget 'will leave 13 million families worse off'

The IFS says 13 million families will on average lose £260 each year. Credit: PA

Thirteen million families will lose an average of £260 each year because changes to working-age benefits, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.

George Osborne announced in yesterday's Budget a freeze of working-age benefits, tax credits and local housing allowance until 2020.

The reduction to work allowances in Universal Credit will cost about three million families an average of £1,000 a year each, according to the IFS.

It added that an increase in the minimum wage, called 'The National Living Wage' by Mr Osborne, will not make up for majority of losses that will be experienced by those who receive tax credits.

Despite claims the Budget was aimed at making the UK a lower tax country, the IFS highlighted the fact that the Treasury's own documents show tax increases totalling £6.5 billion a year by 2020.

The 1% pay rise in the public sector from 2016/17 could see it at its lowest level relative to the private sector since the early 1990s.

The IFS expects cuts to unprotected departments between 2015/16 and 2019/20 of around £19 billion to be announced in the Spending Review in the Autumn.

George Osborne has defended his Budget, saying it represented a "new contract" for Britain and insisting millions of people will be better off because of his changes to tax credits.

But Labour politicians have been quick to jump on the analysis as proof of flaws in the Chancellor's plan, including former leader Ed Miliband and one of the candidates looking to succeed him, Andy Burnham.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship said the analysis that cuts would focus on working families and that it was a tax raising Budget were particularly damning.

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