An urgent re-think of the current four-year freeze in benefits is needed to protect struggling families from further damage as inflation jumps to 2.9% - a four-year high - Child Poverty Action Group warns.
We entered this general election campaign with child poverty at 4 million, projected to rise to 5.1 million by the end of the next parliament (assuming it’s a five-year term). The next government must get to grips with the underlying causes of poverty to make sure all children have a great start in life – and the opportunity to thrive. We have set out the practical steps politicians can take after 8 June to tackle child poverty.
New cuts limiting universal credit to the first two children in a family – starting Thursday April 6th - will push another 200,000 children below the official poverty line, new analysis from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows.
Today’s awful figures tells us several things. Child poverty is high. It’s rising – it’s jumped to 4 million. Two thirds of poor children come from working families. But perhaps the main lesson to take away is that we need to call time on the unfathomable Whitehall orthodoxy, driven by George Osborne but still in place under Theresa May, that rising child poverty is a price worth paying to protect our children.
Responding to today’s Budget, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said: “The Budget may have put the next generation first in words, but it was silent on the huge rises in child poverty projected by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (1) over the next five years. Nothing does more to damage the childhoods and life chances of our children than poverty...
Today’s Guardian covered new analysis by CPAG and IPPR on the impact of cuts to universal credit. This analysis shows that universal credit cuts will hit families with children hardest, and will be poverty-producing to the tune of around a million children (comparing universal credit as originally designed with its current form).
Commenting on the Prime Minister's speech today, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham, said: "There are nearly 4 million UK children in poverty so the Prime Minister is absolutely right to say Government should commit to a programme of social reform which adds up to more than policies for dysfunctional families or for our very brightest children...
This year, we'll again be at the Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative party conferences, holding fringe events to stimulate discussion of child poverty and its solutions in the parties. The events will debate what reforms are needed to stop the projected 50% increase in child poverty by the next election in 2020.
This autumn the benefit cap will be cut, squeezing low-income families even further and pushing more people into poverty. The Welfare Reform & Work Act 2016 lowers the cap to £23,000 per annum for families (or £15,410 for single claimants) in London and £20,000 for families (or £13,400 for single claimants) outside of London.