Campaigners respond to latest government child poverty data: “ another stark reminder of the urgent need to support family incomes”
- An estimated 400,000 children across UK pulled out of relative poverty in the year 2020/21 when universal credit was increased by £20 per week.
- Cutting the uplift will have pushed many of those children back into poverty, campaigners say
- One in ten children in Scotland lived in persistent poverty - for three of the four years up to 2020
an estimated 400,000 children were pulled out of poverty in the year 2020/21 when universal credit (UC) was increased by £20 per week. But the UK Government’s decision to cut UC by £20 last October will have pushed those children back into poverty.
The campaigners say that on top of the cut, the Chancellor’s failure to bring benefits in line with inflation from April means families in poverty will suffer even more as costs soar.
ue to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on data collection, there is no official poverty statistic for Scotland for the latest three-year period 2018-21, and at UK level the statistics need to be treated with caution. However new official statistics on ‘persistent poverty’ show one in ten children in Scotland lived in poverty for three of the four years up to 2020.
John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, responded to the latest figures saying;
Note to editors:
The UK released by DWP today are less reliable than usual because of data collection issues during the pandemic and should be treated with a high level of caution. However, the fall in child poverty reported in this year’s release aligns with independent forecasts.
Today’s UK Households Below Average Income, covering April 2020- April 2021 when the £20 uplift was in place shows:
- An estimated 400,000 children were lifted out of relative poverty (after housing costs). That meant 3.9 million children (27% of all UK children) were in poverty.
- At 3.9 million, the number of children in poverty in 2020/21 was still 300,000 higher than in 2010-11 (when it was 3.6 million).
- 22% of children (900,000) living in poverty were in a household classified as food insecur
Child Poverty Action Group says today’s figures demonstrate that investing in social security is the most efficient way to reduce child poverty and support struggling households. But without the extra £20 per week on universal credit and with only a 3.1% uprating of benefits planned when inflation is 8% (a real-terms income cut of £663 per year for universal credit claimants) the gap between what struggling families need and the support they receive has grown