Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:
'This bill will punish millions of children and families already struggling to make ends meet.
'Two-thirds of families affected – over six million – have children. As a result of today’s move, life will be harder for families from all walks of life, including 300,000 nurses and midwives, 150,000 primary school teachers and 40,000 members of the armed forces.
'Families already struggling to provide their children with food or a winter coat, or heat their homes are being pushed closer to the brink.
'Child poverty blights lives and is a scar on our society. Today’s ’hardship penalty’ punishes working families on low-incomes as well as those looking for work, paving the way to a rise in child poverty.'
For more information, please call Beth Herzfeld in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422, 07775 812 357 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to editors:
This bill cuts around £33 million a week from welfare support, two-thirds (£21.2 million) of which comes from that previously allocated for the poorest households.
As a result of this bill, a nurse with two children will lose £424 each year by 2015, an army corporal with three children earning £619 per week will lose about £550 per year by 2015. This decision will hit children and families from all walks of life.
The impact assessment of the bill shows that 50% of households receiving disability living allowance will lose out.
3.6 million children in the UK are living in poverty.
Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families.
Major changes to the welfare system, including localisation of council tax benefit and the introduction of a benefit cap for out-of-work households are already planned to be introduced this year. Many of the changes will have a substantial impact on the support available for children and families.
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.