Welfare shake-up ‘will double number of children in poverty’


The number of children in families that have a monthly deficit is set to double. 

Flagship welfare reforms will trigger a big increase in families unable to make ends meet, new analysis reveals. The number of children living in families that have a monthly deficit will double in some areas, because of the combined impact of universal credit, a two-child limit on some welfare payments and the benefits cap.

The research, produced for the children’s commissioner, found that a quarter of children in its sample would be hit by the measures. Almost half of low-income households examined were affected, losing on average £3,441 a year.

Charities and researchers are already warning of rising child poverty. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, has been attempting to soften the government’s reforms, putting more money into universal credit, limiting the two-child policy and sanctioning fewer claimants.

However, the Policy in Practice consultancy found that the combined effects of the three welfare reforms still meant that 25% of children in its study were in low-income families who would be unable to make ends meet. Without the policies, only 13% would be in households spending more than their income. Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, said: “The two-child cap penalises children who can’t choose their birth order or the number of siblings their parents are having. Putting children in a position where they are worse off through no fault of their own is morally wrong and risks damaging the life chances of already vulnerable children.”

Adam Corlett, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said that welfare cuts announced four years ago kicked in only last month. “These cuts are the culmination of a significant retrenchment of support with children,” he said. “The result is more children living in poverty. Absolute child poverty rose last year, and we expect relative child poverty to rise in the years ahead.”

The new analysis looked at families receiving housing benefit and help with their council tax across 19 councils. It covered a sample of 128,119 households with 257,648 children, but the findings may not be representative of the country as a whole.

Govt Newspeak

Half of low-income families will lose thousands of pounds a year, warns new study
Hartlepool, England
 The number of children in families that have a monthly deficit is set to double. 

Flagship welfare reforms will trigger a big increase in families unable to make ends meet, new analysis reveals. The number of children living in families that have a monthly deficit will double in some areas, because of the combined impact of universal credit, a two-child limit on some welfare payments and the benefits cap.

The research, produced for the children’s commissioner, found that a quarter of children in its sample would be hit by the measures. Almost half of low-income households examined were affected, losing on average £3,441 a year.

Charities and researchers are already warning of rising child poverty. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, has been attempting to soften the government’s reforms, putting more money into universal…

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