7 Nov 2013

Matthew Reed,  Chief Executive of  The Children’s Society, said:

'This important report from the Public Accounts Committee raises serious concerns for the future of Universal Credit. Our top priority is to make sure that the new system works for the millions of children that will be in families receiving it, and we need to see the system thoroughly tested on children and families before the government rolls it out across the country.

'We must not forget that the government still has key policy decisions to make on Universal Credit, including on the future of free school meals. We also think they need to reconsider key decisions they have made, such as on support for disabled children.

“It is vital that the government does not miss the opportunity to give the crucial support needed to low-income working families to help lift children out of poverty.'    

Ends

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Notes to editors:

  • Chris Grayling when Minister of State (Employment), Work and Pensions, stated 6.7 million children would be in households entitled to Universal Credit.
  •  3.5 million children in the UK are living in poverty.
  • Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families.
  • 1.2 million children living in poverty miss out on a free school meal – 700,000 of these children aren’t even entitled to one despite their need because their parents work.
  • 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.