New plans for tax credits are an attack on young parents.

As a working parent on £16,000 a year before tax, I receive child tax credits and working tax credits. I pay over £200 a month in combined taxes out of the money I earn at work. I am 21 years old.

Under new plans proposed by the Conservative government, I would no longer receive tax credits. According to the article, approximately 50,000 people under the age of 22 receive tax credits in the UK, and the majority of these are parents.

The response to this news has been worrying. People are welcoming the announcement, as it also means that migrants will have to wait four years before they can claim any benefits in this country – in fact, the reason they are suggesting the age limit of 22 is so that they won’t be accused of discrimination by the EU – and, even more concerning, is that many are applauding it as they feel it will stop teenage girls ‘having babies for council houses’ and whatever bullshit they still believe.

In order to avoid discriminating against migrants, are the government not discriminating against young parents?

I have a newsflash for those of you who believe this is a good thing.

I have never known of any young woman have a baby for the money, or for the ‘free council house’ we supposedly get.

The people this will be hurting the most are the young parents who work to support their families; who receive working tax credits and child tax credits to help recover the amount of money we pay in tax (as in – we’re taxpayers too! So you can stop using words like ‘scrounging’ and ‘workshy’), who need the tax credits to help afford childcare so that we can continue working full-time.

Even if you think we should have waited to have our children, regardless of whether we work or not, in supporting these changes, you are advocating for punishing our children. The money doesn’t go on nights out and clothes – I joke about it with friends, but our child benefit and child tax credits goes towards childcare when SB is in nursery, as well as her food, any clothes she needs and going towards the rent to make sure she can stay living here.

Taking that away means that we could risk losing our flat, not being able to afford childcare for her, and I would have to stop work to look after her full-time. The best part of 50,000 other families would be in the same situation, and would have to claim even more benefits to stay afloat. How is that a better situation than what we are facing now?

The elephant in the room? The way the news agencies are reporting on this. If pensions were being cut for a certain age group, there would be cries of ageism. So what is the difference between cutting pensions for people between the ages of, say, 65-70, and stopping four years’ worth of working parents from receiving tax credits, purely on the basis of their age?

With the exception of a small mention halfway through the article, nothing has been made of the fact that this is cutting a vital piece of support to young parents who are working and studying to better themselves.

This is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attack on young parents – austerity disguised as equality, and discrimination that they will continue to get away with, for as long as the public think that young parents deserve to have their support taken away.

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