Gingerbread and JRF respond to the budget

By Agencies
November 22, 2017

Gingerbread, the national charity for single parent families, said the Chancellor has made welcome and long-needed changes to Universal Credit, but has failed to reverse harsh cuts that are falling on the very families it has promised to support. Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of Gingerbread said,  “Once again the government has failed to address support for families who are ‘just about managing’.

"With almost one in four families single parent families, children across the UK will continue to face the risk of poverty unless the Government re-thinks its current economic policies and shifts the balance away from responding to the political weather, towards genuine support for families.

"Cutting Universal Credit waiting times and extending the repayment period for advances are welcome changes for which Gingerbread has been calling. But it is the tip of the iceberg – with significant welfare cuts continuing to undermine the Government’s mantra that it will ‘make work pay’.

Campbell Robb, chief executive at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said, "Working families on low wages are facing huge losses under Universal Credit, with single parent families particularly badly hit. Working single parents will lose £800 a year on average compared to the current system. Reversing cuts to the work allowance would be a more effective measure to make a real difference to these family’s lives.

"Without this change and with the cost of living set to rise, spiralling debt, rent arrears and increasing levels of poverty will continue to be the reality for most single parent families moving onto Universal Credit. Most single parents are in work but many are living in poverty. Work is simply not paying.”

“The Chancellor promised to fix the foundations of the economy, but people struggling to make ends meet needed far more than this Budget offered.

“Today’s announcement will help to ease the initial problems that many people face when moving over to Universal Credit, but the Government has decided to push ahead with big cuts to the amount of money people will receive. By failing to end the benefits freeze, the Government will oversee almost half a million extra people in poverty by the end of this Parliament.

“The Government’s big spending commitments for stamp duty giveaways and tax cuts prioritised higher earning households, with little support for people who need it most.

“The Government could have demonstrated it was on the side of low income families by lifting the freeze and providing a clear plan to deliver 80,000 genuinely affordable homes a year in England, instead of more funding for people who can already afford to buy.”

* Joseph Rowntree Foundation https://www.jrf.org.uk/

* Gingerbread https://www.gingerbread.org.uk/

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