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Joined: 09/03/2009

Tax and benefit changes affecting millions of people have come into force amid a political row over their impact.

Labour are arguing that a child benefit freeze, tax credit changes and the way benefits are linked to inflation will leave many families worse off.

The Treasury said there would be "some losers" but the poorest 80% of households would, on average, be better off with some taken out of income tax.

The changes have come into effect as the new tax year starts.

The parties are at odds over who will lose out the most - with the government denying Labour claims that the changes are "regressive", hitting the poorest hardest.

'Black Wednesday'

Labour say the benefit cuts will make it a "Black Wednesday" for families across the UK but ministers say the measures are necessary to tackle the estimated £146bn budget deficit and the opposition would also have had to increase tax and trim benefits.

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