Children's Society asks government to 'urgently rethink' benefits policy

By agency reporter
November 4, 2017

Responding to figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which show a a predicted rise in child poverty, Dr Sam Royston, the Director of Policy and Research from The Children’s Society said, “These shocking figures show that child poverty in this country is getting worse and more and more families are paying the price for punishing government policy that is pushing them to breaking point. With the four-year benefit freeze set against rising costs of the essentials, working families are being increasingly squeezed.

“Poverty devastates lives, but it needn’t be this way. Changes to government policy would prevent hundreds of thousands more children facing cold homes, rumbling stomachs and being bullied at school. The IFS figures confirm the two-child limit, which applies to tax credits and universal credit, is one of the main policy drivers of the expected increase in child poverty. The Children’s Society’s analysis suggests that this will affect 3 million children, with nearly two thirds of these children in working families.

“The current benefits freeze could also see affected families losing up to 12 per cent from the real value of their benefits and tax credits by 2020.  That is why we want the Government to urgently re-think its four year benefits freeze, benefit cap and two-child limit.

“The figures also show that child poverty will increase in all regions. With local authorities under severe financial pressure, rising poverty and increasing demands for children’s services we want the government to address the significant funding shortfall in these services - predicted to reach £2 billion by 2020. This would help prevent poverty in local areas most in need. If the Government does not take urgent action, then thousands of children will suffer as a result.”

Read more on the IFS report from Ekklesia http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/24550

* The Children's Society https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/

[Ekk/6] 

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.