Ahead of the Autumn Statement, organisations representing children’s doctors, school leaders and social workers have joined Child Poverty Action Group in calling on the Chancellor to uprate benefits from April at least in line with September’s inflation rate as usual, to safeguard children’s well- being. Benefits usually rise each April in line with September’s inflation rate but the Government has so far not committed to delivering this in the Autumn Statement. In an open letter to the Chancellor, the organisations warn that uprating by less than September’s CPI would mean an “unmanageable” real-terms income cut for many of the low-income families they work with, compromising children's welfare.
The full text of the letter is below.
The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1 Horse Guards Road
Autumn Statement and uprating of benefits
As organisations working with families and children we are concerned by suggestions that the Autumn Statement may not include provision to uprate benefits in line with last September’s inflation rate, as is usual for uprating.
With inflation still high, many of the low-income families we work with cannot afford to keep their children well-fed and sufficiently warm and are sliding into debt. Hunger, sub-optimal nutrition, cold and damp homes and fewer opportunities to access extra-curricular activities are jeopardising children’s health, learning and well-being.
Uprating benefits below September’s inflation rate would mean an unmanageable real-terms income cut for these families, further compromising children's welfare.
The Spring Budget recognised the importance of investing in children with its welcome new early years provisions. In keeping with that recognition, we urge you to ensure that benefits rise from April at least in line with September’s inflation rate, so that we can safeguard children’s well-being and lay strong foundations for their futures.
Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group
Dr Camilla Kingdon,
President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
General Secretary, National Association of Headteachers
Chief Executive, British Association of Social Workers
General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders
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