Back in the early 2000s, ‘child poverty’ was the term on every politician’s lips. The lead up to the Child Poverty Act in 2010 achieved cross-party consensus on the necessity of eradicating child poverty by 2020. These days, enthusiasm to give children in poverty the attention they deserve seems more muted.
If you had heard the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, reassuring MP on Monday this week about future funding levels of Discretionary Housing Payments (which help vulnerable families hit by housing benefit cuts to meet their rent payments and prevent homelessness), you would be forgiven for believing that, on this issue, the Government was making adequate resources available to meet needs. And no-one would blame you for not realising that funding for this lifeline has been cut by 24% for next year.
This article originally appeared in the Bright Blue and the Fabian's publication A future without poverty.
Since 2010 the Government has overseen an ambitious, large-scale programme of income redistribution.
When MPs on the Commons Work and Pensions Committee sat down to take evidence in the second instalment of their inquiry on sanctions yesterday, two media stories hung in the air.
Maria is one of thousands of parents up and down the country who have received support from their council through local welfare provision funding. She was living with her abusive partner and her child, with no access to the household’s money, and no family in the country.
"What is driving food bank use in the UK? Answering this research question is something of a challenge. There is no official data on food bank use – although the Trussell Trust does collect data on the numbers using their network, alongside reasons for referral – and no systematic evidence base telling us why people are referred for support.
Today’s the day that speculation about the content of the Autumn Statement reaches its peak. Will the Chancellor announce new spending cuts in light of lower-than-expected tax receipts? Or conversely, be in the market for some pre-election giveaways? Trails apart, we don’t yet know for sure what will be in the speech at 12.30pm tomorrow. But we have a pretty good idea what won’t.
If I need to take a day off work, I don’t usually lose one month’s salary as a result. However, if you’re claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and delays to your bus journey mean you arrive ten minutes late for an interview at the Jobcentre, you could well find yourself having your benefit stopped for four weeks or more through a sanction.