FAMILIES are the biggest casualties of the Government’s austerity plans, with the funding for their public services set to be cut by over £7,000 a year by 2018, a report has said.

The report commissioned by the TUC – which assesses how households and family types will be affected by spending cuts - indicates that families will miss out the most as a result of departmental spending cuts.

Poor households will miss out more than the richest ten per cent of households, with the funding for the public services they use being cut significantly more, the report found.

Bill Adams, TUC Regional Secretary for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Working families are the main target of the government’s austerity crusade. The funding for public services that families across York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire rely on every day – from Surestart centres to local police staff and higher education places – are being slashed. These cuts are already making life far harder for parents and their children, and most of the cuts are still to come.”

The release of the TUC report coincided with a Government announcement that York will get £1,186,356 to deliver 15 hours a week free early years education for the poorest two-year olds by 2014.

Steps have been made so the poorest 20 per cent (308) two-year-olds will receive the service by September 2013. That is due to rise to the poorest 40 per cent by 2014.

Meanwhile, in Selby, local councillors have celebrated being one of the first town councils in the country to adopt the Joseph Rowntree Foundation recommended living wage as a minimum for all its staff.

Steve Shaw-Wright, leader of the Town Council, which employs 12 staff, said: “I believe that the town council is an example of a good employer. We wanted to adopt the living wage as confirmation of this. It is as much a moral stance as a political one. People should expect to be able live on the wages they earn.

“I would hope that other employers and local authorities follow our lead.”