-- Advertisement --

Child poverty set to surge to highest levels since records began as Tory cuts bite even deeper


Stay in touch!

Sign up to be updated with Evolve's latest stories, and for opportunities to get involved.
Loading

A new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that over the next five years, over a million more British children will be pushed into poverty, bringing the total of children in poverty to a new high of 5.2m.

‘Poverty’ is defined as a household income of less than 60% of the UK median after housing costs: and, by 2020, 37% of British children will be living in such households – the highest percentage since modern records began in 1961.

The IFS puts the projected increase in child poverty down to the government’s planned freeze on working-age benefits at least until April 2020, plus the introduction of Universal Credit and cuts to child tax credits (the controversial third child rule).

The benefit freeze will reduce the average income of affected households by £500/year, whilst the Child Poverty Action Group has calculated that the introduction of Universal Credit will reduce the average family income by £960/year, and a massive £2380/year for single parent families.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a huge outcry about Universal Credit. Much of this has been about the current six-week wait for the first payment, which has driven many people into debt and put them at risk of eviction.

The government strongly defended the current system although more recently there are suggestions that the waiting period may be reduced to a month, still far too long for people with no savings to fall back on.

child poverty
credit NE Child Poverty commission

Recently, Labour won a vote in Parliament to pause the rollout of Universal Credit; Tory MPs were ordered by the whips to abstain from the vote, and every single one except Sarah Wollaston, who voted with Labour, did as they were told, in a shameful display of utter disregard for the lives of the poorest people in society.

Meanwhile Theresa May continues to insist, despite reams of evidence to the contrary, that Universal Credit is ‘a system that is working’.

However, the six week wait, whilst utterly indefensible, is only a small part of the problem with Universal Credit. Far more damaging is the huge reduction in income it represents for working families who are transferred onto Universal Credit, and the massive increase in child poverty as a result.

In addition, a recent report by single parent charity Gingerbread highlights the increased risk of poverty amongst parents of three and four year olds, who under Universal Credit are required to seek work or face having their benefits sanctioned.

Tom Waters, an author of the IFS report, said:

“If the government sticks to planned benefit cuts, it should not be surprised if, according to the official measure, absolute child poverty rises. Every region and nation is projected to see an increase in child poverty, with the largest increases in the North East, East Midlands, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and the smallest in London, the South East, and South West.”

It’s utterly shameful that in a rich country like Britain, child poverty levels are soaring. This has nothing to do with economics, nothing to do with the government claim that it needs to ‘reduce the deficit’, and everything to do with Tory political ideology. That is, to punish the working poor whilst insisting that ‘we’re all in this together’.

Various MPs have suggested that Universal Credit may be Theresa May’s poll tax.

We can only hope they’re right.

Become An Evolve Politics Subscriber

Your subscriptions go directly into paying our writers a standard fee for every article they produce. So if you want to help us stay truly independent, please think about subscribing. We literally couldn’t function without the support of our fantastic readers.

Subscribe

Or a One-Off Donation to Evolve Politics

If you don’t want to subscribe, but still want to contribute to our project, you can make a one-off donation via the donate button below. All your donations go directly to our writers for their work in exposing injustice, inequality and unfairness.

Donate

Evolve needs your help more than ever.

We rely on the generosity of our readers to help fund the majority of our work - but we need a little more to make ends meet and enable us to grow.

If we can reach 1,000 regular subscribers, we will become entirely financially sustainable - and we'll also have a little extra so we can build upwards and outwards to make our work have an even bigger impact.

In the last month alone, our work on the Environment Bill has helped force a change in the law for the better. And, since Evolve was founded, our uniquely viral style of journalism has repeatedly put the establishment on the back foot and helped force genuinely positive progression.

But we want to do far more - and we need your help to do it.

The best way you can help us is by becoming a Monthly or Annual subscriber. This kind of regular income allows us to better plan for the future - firstly so we can pay the bills, and then so we can set aside funds and time to work on extra projects.

However, if you can't commit to a regular payment, one-off donations - no matter how small - also make a big difference to us, and we genuinely make the most of every single penny.

So, if you appreciate the work that Evolve does and you want to see us make an even bigger impact on the world, please think about contributing to our work in whatever way you possibly can.

Subscriber-Only Comments

-- Advertisement --

Follow

153,478FansLike
1,584FollowersFollow
395FollowersFollow
1FollowersFollow
64,025FollowersFollow
1,060SubscribersSubscribe
-- Advertisement --