Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:
'This very welcome report clearly sets out how Universal Credit could have a significant effect on some of the most vulnerable families in this country.
'While we know many will be better off, our evidence shows large numbers, including many disadvantaged families, could lose out under the new system. We are particularly concerned that hundreds of thousands of vulnerable disabled people – including families with disabled children – could have to cut back on food and specialist equipment and, even in some cases, struggle to keep their homes.
'The report highlights just how important free school meals are and we believe the government should take this opportunity to make them available to all children living in poverty.
'We urge the government to act on the Committee’s recommendations and rethink its plans, so Universal Credit can benefit all children and families.'
For more information, please call Beth Herzfeld in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to editors
- Up to half a million disabled people and their families - including children and disabled adults living on their own - will be worse off under Universal Credit if changes aren’t made.
- See www.childrenssociety.org.uk/fairandsquare for more on the need to extend free school meals to all children living in poverty.
- The Children’s Society 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. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.