Case Study: Couple with children

'It seems like we have been forgotten'
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The Independent Online

Shelley Crowther, self-employed photographer

Shelley Crowther, self-employed photographer

Lives: With husband Peter, 45, a retail management consultant and their two children, Gabriella, three, and Joseph, two, in Balham, south London. Shelley earns £35,000 a year and Peter £60,000 a year.

Company benefits:

Shelley: none.

Peter: car, pension and private health care.

Outgoings: Mortgage £800 per month, council tax £100, fuel £200 per month. Child care: £1,200 per month on a nanny plus £300 per month on a three-day week nursery for Gabriella.

Politics: Shelley - doesn't vote but would consider voting if any party offered more for working mothers.

Hopes for Budget: More support for families and help with childcare costs, plus reductions in the tax and national insurance Shelley has to pay for her nanny.

Effects of Budget: The family will be £180 better off through concessions in income tax and child benefits but they will pay more in national insurance.

Reaction: "I don't see how any of it is really going to help me and my family. We are not fantastically well off but it seems like we have been forgotten. I have to pay my own tax and national insurance, plus tax and national insurance for my nanny, plus tax for employing her, plus money for the nursery place that means I can go out to work.

"As far as I can see we won't get anything out of this Budget. I haven't voted for years and this wouldn't make me vote Labour.

"In Sweden, every company has a creche and there is a lot of state help for working families - why can't we have something like that here? Everything seems to be geared towards penalising people like me."

Maxine Frith