It’s undoubtedly good news that Stephen Crabb, the new Work & Pensions Secretary, insists that Universal Credit will be one of his main priorities. The key question, however, is will it be one of the Chancellor’s priorities?
Today the Lords vote on government policies to cut tax credits, the extra support people on low wages receive to ‘top up’ their incomes. With over two thirds of children growing up in poverty living in a working family, tax credits are a vital tool to help families make ends meet.
After the 2015 election the Prime Minister promised ‘blue-collar Conservatism’, which he said was about 'giving everyone in our country the chance to get on, with the dignity of a job, the pride of a pay cheque, a home of their own and the security and peace of mind that comes from being able to support a family’.
The basic cost of bringing up a child is getting harder to meet. New CPAG research updating our annual 'Cost of a child' report has found that while the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 remains high, at £149,805, state support for meeting those costs is diminishing sharply.
What's the point of working tax credits? David Cameron has called their use into question by highlighting the role they play in enabling big businesses to get away with paying poverty wages. But this overlooks the important role that working tax credits play in enabling parents to enter or stay in the labour market working less than full-time.