Brown pledges to help struggling families

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Gordon Brown promised today that working families hit hard by the credit crunch would soon see the cost of living come down.

Food and fuel prices, mortgage repayments and gas and electricity bills should start decreasing in the next few months, which will ease the pressure on struggling families, he said.

"We're here to help families during this difficult time," he told GMTV.

"I'm determined we do the best by British families and make sure we show people we're doing everything we can to help them."

Mr Brown also promised to "look at everything" when it came to making tax cuts.

He told Chris and Sarah Charlton, from York - young parents picked by the programme to quiz him at 10 Downing Street - that this would be a matter for the Budget and Pre-Budget report.

He said: "There's one (tax cut) coming through at the moment, there's £120 that you'll see reflected in your income tax.

"I think you've had £60 now and you'll get £60 later. We froze petrol duty and, of course, we're going to look at everything."

He assured the Charltons that they would see the pressure ease by Christmas, with mortgage costs and fuel and food prices continuing to fall over the next few days.

"I'm determined that the building societies and the banks pass on the cut in interest rates," he said.

"You can't cut interest rates and then see no benefit to people, so it's going to be passed on as far as we're concerned. Then we want the banks to start lending again."

He also promised that working families who struggled to pay for childcare, but did not qualify for benefits, would not be missed out.

"We're trying to change that by introducing the child tax credit so that you get the benefit of (this) on top of child benefit, and we're trying to extend the support with childcare to make it easier for you to get help with childcare," he said.