Case Study: Single Mother

'The child tax credit increase is good news for people like me'
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Indy Politics

Nichola Beresford , IT teacher and part-time artist - temporarily unemployed after being taken ill with sickle-cell anaemia

Nichola Beresford , IT teacher and part-time artist - temporarily unemployed after being taken ill with sickle-cell anaemia

Single mother, lives with her two children, Jade, 18, and Pierce, 11.

Lives: Moseley, Birmingham.

Age: 36.

Income: £55 a week incapacity benefit; £60 a week housing benefit; £150 a month child tax credit.

Company benefits: none.

Outgoings: £20 a week on food; £60 a month gas and electricity; £288 a year water rates; £30 a month clothes for children and her; £30 a week childcare on after-school club. No council tax as she lives in council house. Rent covered by housing benefit.

Politics: So disillusioned with party politics that she didn't vote last time and won't this time either.

Hopes for Budget: A freeze - or decrease - in fuel duty; help with family tax credits; generally "more hope for single mums who face extra costs from going to work".

Effect of Budget: Nichola will be much worse off this year - but primarily because she has had to give up work. She will benefit by gaining £594 from increased child tax credits.

Reaction: "In a way that I least expected, the Budget has been good news for me. I'm keen to buy my own council house - which will cost me £89,000 - so we can have a little family home of our own. I think the stamp duty changes will help. Since I'm a first-time buyer, I'll also be looking at the help being offered through the Council of Mortgage Lenders scheme, on a quarter of the price of the house.

"The freeze on petrol duty is good news as it's a major outgoing. Though why couldn't he reduce it for goodness sake! I have to drive my son to school.

"The increase in child tax credit is also good news - and something a lot of single mothers like me wanted to see. Now I just want to get some help understanding the credits. They shroud these things in mystery."

Ian Herbert

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