Chancellor Osborne's welfare cap puts struggling families at risk, says Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, responding to several of the measures in the 2014 UK Budget announced today.
On capping welfare spending, he declared: “Applying an arbitrary cap to welfare spending takes no account of changing circumstances of families caught up in poverty facing rising living costs beyond their control, including childcare and rocketing rents.
"The government is effectively transferring the risk of rising costs to children and families already struggling to make ends meet.”
On personal allowance, Mr Reed added: “Raising the personal allowance and lifting three million people out of taxation may appear a positive move. For hundreds of thousands of working families that depend on housing benefit to top up their meagre earnings, this will gain them very little. The vast majority of this will be deducted from their benefits -- giving with one hand while taking with the other.”
But there was some good news too, said the Children's Society chief. On the Chancellor's childcare support increase, he declared: “The government’s announcement on childcare and Universal Credit will make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of the UK’s poorest families that are struggling to make work pay.
"Providing the poorest working families with at least 85 per cent of their childcare costs will make sure childcare is affordable to those who need it most and making sure work pays.
"We await the details of how it will be funded. It must not remove money from the pockets of the poorest.”
The Children’s Society, founded as a church charity, wants "to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers."
* The Children's Society: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk
* Ekklesia's 2014 Budget coverage: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/budget2014
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