Tax burden is reduced for parents

Families
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Parents, including single mothers, received a boost yesterday with a package of measures designed to cut the tax burden on families.

Parents, including single mothers, received a boost yesterday with a package of measures designed to cut the tax burden on families.

Gordon Brown exceeded expectations when he said that about five million families would gain a £520-a-year tax cut in the next Budget, and announced plans to increase the proposed £8.50-a-week tax cut for families to £10 from the next Budget.

He said the new family tax cut, which replaces the married couple's allowance, would form part of a "new integrated system of child support". Parents would receive the £10-a-week tax cut on top of child benefit.

In a measure aimed at single parents, Mr Brown extended the New Deal jobs programme to help back to work 150,000 more lone parents who do not receive income support.

He said that his proposals would mean that the tax burden on a typical family would fall below 20 per cent, to the lowest level since 1972. The tax burden on the average family falls from 20.3 per cent to 18.6 per cent, he announced

Mr Brown said his plans for families formed part of a package of measures introduced by the Government to halve child poverty in the next decade.

Charities campaigning for rights of single parents welcomed the extra cash in the Chancellor's announcements. The National Council for One Parent Families said that Mr Brown had presented "a great Budget for lone parents".

The council's policy and research officer, Alison Garnham, said: "The New Deal will be extended to single-parent families who, for whatever reason, are unable to claim Income Support. These 150,000 lone parents will benefit greatly from the help available. It's very good news - they'll be very pleased that they can get the help that everyone else receives."

However, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said that more was required from government to end child poverty.

"We need a coherent national strategy for preventing and eradicating child poverty," said a spokesman. "At its core must be a new minimum income standard to maintain the health and well-being of the most vulnerable children."

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