Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson gave a Helping Hand to members of Usdaw when he signed up to their campaign to alert parents and carer to the changes the Tory-Lib Dem government is making to tax credits and other benefits.
The Labour MP joined forces with the Usdaw campaigners in Maghull Central Square.
Usdaw held campaign stalls in workplaces, shopping centres and staff canteens up and down the country giving out much needed information about how the changes to benefits will impact on working families.
At the heart of Usdaw’s campaign is a call for the Government to postpone cuts to Working Tax Credit that will take nearly £4,000 away from 200,000 families who cannot find extra hours of work. Two thirds of the families affected are already living in poverty and a further 35,000 families with 80,000
children will be pushed into poverty if they lose their Working Tax Credit.
Bill Esterson said: "I've spoken to lots of working people in East Sefton and throughout Sefton Central who are going to lose out because of these changes to Working Tax Credits.
"These are ordinary families who are going to lose out because of these changes.
"This is an issue that the Labour Party has been campaigning on in Parliament and it is clearly an issue for people here in Sefton based on the large number of people who signed up to the Usdaw campaign day and also through the cases which people have given me on the doorstep.
"From April 6, around 200,000 couples with children face losing £3,870 if they cannot increase the total number of hours they work from 16 to 24 hours. Around 140,000 of these families are already living below the poverty line. A further 35,000 families with around 80,000 children will fall below the poverty line if they are unable to find extra hours of work.
"We were hoping that George Osborne would announce that he would scrap these changes or at least postpone them. But instead he used his budget as a reward for his millionaire friends at the expense of hard-pressed working people and pensioners."
Usdaw area organiser Pam Thompson said lots of people had signed up to the Usdaw campaign.
Pam said: "We have had a lot of people sign our Usdaw pledge cards to raise awareness about the campaign to protect tax credits for working families.
“The forthcoming change to Working Tax Credit, that requires couples with children to increase their hours of work from 16 to 24 to remain entitled to help, will be devastating for many of our members. Usdaw is deeply concerned that this cut and other changes to benefits will increase child poverty and the union firmly believes that when times are tough we should be protecting the money we spend on children.
”That's the message from the people of Maghull who signed our pledge cards today."