Parliamentary briefing on spring statement

Post date: 
24 March 2022

Yesterday the chancellor missed the opportunity to give essential support to families hardest hit by rising living costs. By not increasing benefits in line with inflation, the government has imposed a £663 real-terms cut on families with children receiving universal credit – the second cut in quick succession for families who recently lost £20 a week.

As inflation now pushes a thirty-year high and energy bills soar by 54 per cent, millions of low-income families hardest hit by price increases will wonder how to pay their bills and provide for their children over the coming weeks and months. Families with nothing left to cut back have been left dangerously exposed to rising costs, and need more support. The package announced yesterday prioritises middle and higher earners, and leaves those hardest hit by price rises with the least.

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The government must recognise the scale of the challenge facing low-income families. Voices from across the political spectrum, and 60 charities, called on the chancellor to increase benefits by 8 per cent to match inflation. This was the minimum needed to mitigate the worst impacts of this crisis on families with children in poverty. By not answering this call, the chancellor has failed the children who needed him most.