200,000 children will be in poverty due to Govt's benefit changes
- 18 Jan
The Government have admitted the statistic given by Labour that shows children are going to fall into poverty following the changes made by the Torys.
The squeeze on tax credits and benefits will push a further 200,000 children into poverty, the government has admitted for the first time. It suggests a total of a million extra children will be in poverty as a result of government welfare measures.
Ministers have said they no longer regard the relative child poverty statistics as a useful or valid measure as it is highlighten that an extra 200,000 children will be in poverty figure due to the government's decision to lift most in-work and out-of-work benefits by only 1% over the next three years instead of increasing them in line with inflation.
Ministers had been reluctant to state what the impact would be on child poverty, an official government measure that looks at the number of households with incomes at 60% or below the national average household income.
The admission came in an answer to a parliamentary question, work and pensions minister Esther McVey estimated that "the uprating measures in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 will result in around an extra 200,000 children being deemed by this measure to be in relative income poverty compared to uprating benefits by CPI [consumer price index]".
Ministers are trying to push through the benefit squeeze with just one day of debate for the committee stage and third reading of the welfare benefits uprating bill in the House of Commons next Monday.
The answers given by the government also reveals major downward revisions to the poverty-reducing impacts that had previously been claimed by Ministers for Universal Credit. Previously the Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith, had estimated the Universal Credit would directly reduce child poverty by 350,000 children, but this has now been revised down to just 150,000.
The bill will mean Coalition policies are set to increase child poverty by at least a million children by 2020, net of the Universal Credit impact and on the relative income measure
Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, said:
While they give the richest 2% of earners a £3bn tax cut, 200,000 children will be pushed into poverty and millions of working families made worse off.
Ministers have spent weeks refusing to admit what the impact of their policies would be on child poverty and now we know why. Children are paying the price for David Cameron and George Osborne's economic failure and the political games they have decided to play.
The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) also criticised the changes. Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, said:
The government's child poverty strategy is in utter disarray now that Minsters have admitted the poverty-producing Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill will push 200,000 more children into poverty. This means in total Coalition policies are set to push a million more children into poverty by 2020.
The figures showing the impact on absolute poverty have not been published.
Ministers seem to be in denial that, under current policies, their legacy threatens to be the worst poverty record of any government for a generation, despite their duties under the Child Poverty Act to reduce child poverty across a basket of measures including absolute, relative and persistent poverty as well as for deprivation levels which show how well families are able to meet basic costs.
The bad news is compounded by new government figures showing the Universal Credit would not result in nearly as much poverty reduction as Minsters had previously claimed. It will now lift 150,000 children out of poverty not 350,000 as originally claimed.
Short term spending cuts that create poverty will end up costing taxpayers billions in the future and inflict huge damage on children and our economy.
The government argues the statistics are misleading to consider the impacts of uprating tax credits and benefits in isolation and claims that it is "investing in tackling the root causes of child poverty through making work pay". However, changes to tax credits that came into force in April last year mean that thousands of parents in part-time employment are now better off on benefits than in work.
The parliamentary answer also claims that "looking at relative income in isolation is not a helpful measure to track progress towards our target of eradicating child poverty". Ministers have for some time been arguing that the relative income measure is unhelpful since it focuses on too narrow a definition of poverty.
Labour points out that David Cameron, when in opposition, repeatedly argued that relative poverty was important and that the Conservative party would measure and act on it. In 2006, Cameron said:
I want this message to go out loud and clear: the Conservative Party recognises, will measure and will act on relative poverty.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said:
Even with plans to limit increases to benefits, people will still see their benefits go up year on year - there is no freeze in support.
And Universal Credit will make 3 million households better off.
- 09 Jun
THERESA MAY PLEDGES TO REPLACE THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT 1983
According to Ms May, the new bill would introduce the following:According to the Tories, the proposals were described as the biggest change to mental health treatment law in over 30 years.Ms May...
- 30 May
THE PRESENT FIRST PRIME MINISTER OF SCOTLAND IS TO PLEDGE AGAINST ANY PLANS TO PRIVATISE THE NHS
It is also expected that Sturgeon will do the following as proof of her party's commitment to fighting against further austerity:Sturgeon said this before Tuesday's manifesto launch:"While the polls...
- 17 Mar
402 MILLION POUNDS WILL BE INVESTED IN COUNCILS WITH THE GREATEST HOMELESSNESS DEMAND FROM APRIL 2017
Presently, funding is only used for homeless households and not for the prevention of homelessness in the first instance.The funding by the Department for Communities and Local Government is set to...
- 15 Mar
RULES AROUND PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENTS MAY CHANGE ON THURSDAY
Ministers have advised chief executives of over 30 charities which claimed that people will be left without vital financial support, to restrict access to a disability benefit.The Disability Benefits...
- 06 Mar
THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN URGED BY THE BMA TO INCREASE HEALTH SPENDING BY 10 BILLION POUNDS
This increase in health spending to a proportion of GDP that matched that of the 10 leading economies across Europe could pay for at least 35,000 extra beds a day and many more GP's, according to the...
- 05 Sep
MANY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REFUGES AT RISK OF CLOSING DUE TO HOUSING BENEFIT CAP
Women who have been victims of domestic violence as well as their children are at risk of falling into the hands of their violent partners if the government caps housing benefit in the social sector...
- 03 Sep
Data on disability benefits refused by DWP
DWP officials have refused a second request for basic information on disability benefits using the “Section 22” exemption they used previously, reports The Independent.The Department had been...
- 02 Sep
UN to investigate how welfare reforms will affect disability rights
A disability charity in Scotland has said it’s been contacted by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as part of an inquiry into Britain’s treatment of people with...
- 01 Sep
Benefit cuts affecting 48,500 families in Liverpool
Analysis from Liverpool City Council has found that around 48,500 households are likely to lose their benefits due to new government reforms, reports the Liverpool Echo. Councillor Jane Corbett has...
- 27 Aug
Suicide guidance given to DWP staff ahead of welfare reforms
Workers at the DWP have been given a six-point plan on how to deal with people who are denied benefits and are feeling suicidal, reports the Independent.Call centre staff have been instructed to...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life