50p rate 'could have helped young'

A tax cut that will give the richest people almost £100,000 a year could have increased child benefit for more than 12 million children, according to a trade union study.

Unison said the Government's decision to cut the 50p rate of tax would hand thousands of millionaires an average of £97,800 next year, at a cost to the Treasury of £1.2 million.

The union estimated that if this tax had been collected, it could have funded an increase to child benefit for the first two children in every family - effectively helping over 12 million children in nearly eight million families.

The freeze on child benefit will mean that a family with one child will get £114.50 a year less than they would have received if child benefit had been raised in line with CPI, while a family with three children will be £265.66 a year worse off, said Unison.

General secretary Dave Prentis, said: "Once again, this government's claim that we are all in this together has been exposed as a sham, and they've chosen to line the pockets of millionaires while children across the UK suffer in poverty.

"The Government faces a stark choice on Budget day - feather the nests of rich individuals or help families who are struggling in the recession."

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