Almost 460,000 children in the West Midlands live in families facing cuts to their tax credits, research by The Children’s Society shows. The charity is warning that the cuts, targeted at 230,000 mainly low-paid families across the region, risk pushing many more children into poverty. Last month the House of Lords voted to delay the changes and Chancellor George Osborne agreed to come back with measures to soften the impact on families.

But the Government has so far refused to rule out pushing ahead with the £4.4bn cuts next April as planned. Families must wait until next week’s Autumn Statement [on November 25] to find out how they will be affected.

Research by The Children’s Society shows how the proposed technical changes to tax credits – reducing income thresholds and disregards and increasing taper rates– would lead to 2.4m working families with 4.5 million children across the UK losing hundreds or even thousands of pounds per year.

The families at risk include some of the lowest paid in the country – the proposed cuts are targeted specifically at people in work – and those with children are more likely to be hit than anyone else.

The Children’s Society is today calling on the Government to make a pledge before Christmas to abandon the planned cuts. At the very least any reductions should be phased in over time and existing claimants should be protected.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Children will be the biggest losers if these deeply unfair cuts to working households go ahead.

“Parents would no doubt do what they could to shield their children from the impact. But the reality is that tax credits are vital for poorer families who work long hours to provide the basics for their children.

“Cutting their income in this way, by more than £1,000 a year in many cases, would risk pushing more children into poverty, as well as undermining incentives to move into work or earn more.

“We urge the Government to do the right thing and abandon its planned cuts at the earliest opportunity.”

Research by the End Child Poverty coalition shows 28% of children in the UK live in poverty – and that nearly two thirds of children in poverty live in working households.