Families who earn 25,000 a year could see a fall in the benefits they receive from April 2012, according to figures buried deep in yesterday's 112-page official Budget document.

This was not disclosed by chancellor George Osborne in his Budget speech yesterday, where he only mentioned those earning over 40,000 would see benefits fall from April 2011 (see the Benefits Check-Up guide).

He did not state what would happen the following year (see the How the tax shake-up affects you MSE News story).

Osborne said in his speech: "I am not going to hide hard choices from the British people or bury them in the small print of the Budget documents.

"You're going to hear them straight from me, here in this speech."

He then went on to say, on benefits: "We will reduce payments to families earning over 40,000 next year (2011/12) and then align the thresholds for the child and family element."

Hidden nasty

What he didn't say is that from 2012/13, some of those earning 25,000 a year will start to see the value of certain benefit payments fall.

A table buried in the Budget document shows an illustrative example of what a family with one child over the age of one would receive in tax credits.

If they earn 25,000 a year they will get 545 in the current and next tax year (2010/11 and 2011/12). But from 2012/13, this will fall to 460.

If they earn 30,000 or 40,000 this will fall from 545 during the current and next tax year to nothing in 2012/13.

The Treasury says, based on a 30,000 income, "if the family has more than one child, they would still receive credits". In other words, they will not lose out.

Further reading/Key links

Full tax credit guide: Tax Credit Overpayments
What to do & where to get help: Debt Problems