Responding to the Chancellor's budget delivered to Parliament today, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:
On capping welfare spending
'Applying an arbitrary cap to welfare spending takes no account of changing circumstances of families caught up in poverty facing rising living costs beyond their control, including childcare and rocketing rents. The government is effectively transferring the risk of rising costs to children and families already struggling to make ends meet.'
On personal allowance
'Raising the personal allowance and lifting three million people out of taxation may appear a positive move. For hundreds of thousands of working families that depend on housing benefit to top up their meagre earnings, this will gain them very little. The vast majority of this will be deducted from their benefits -- giving with one hand while taking with the other.'
On childcare support increase
'The government’s announcement on childcare and Universal Credit will make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of the UK’s poorest families that are struggling to make work pay. Providing the poorest working families with at least 85% of their childcare costs will make sure childcare is affordable to those who need it most and making sure work pays. We await the details of how it will be funded. It must not remove money from the pockets of the poorest.'
For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to editors
- 3.5 million children in the UK are living in poverty today
- Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families
- By 2020, an estimated three quarters of a million more children will be living in poverty than today according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- The Children’s Society is supporting the first-ever Children’s Commission on Poverty. On 21 February, 10 of the young commissioners met government officials from the Child Poverty Unit to raise their concerns over child poverty in the UK and action they want taken. The commissioners want the government to draw on children’s actual experience – and not just the statistics -- when developing measures to tackle child poverty. The Children’s Commission on Poverty is being supported by The Children’s Society and led by a panel of 16 children and teenagers from across England, ranging in age from 12 to 19. They are leading an 18-month investigation into child poverty in the UK. It provides a crucial platform for children to speak out about what poverty is really like and reveal, through their own eyes, the day-to-day challenges they face and what needs to be done.
- 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. Someone who acts on their behalf and can help guide them through the extremely complex system. These children deserve to be kept safe so they can recover from the trauma they have suffered and rebuild their lives.