8 Mar 2017

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

'The Chancellor said today he wanted to show ordinary families that the dice weren’t loaded against them, but this Budget has failed to shift the odds in their favour.

'Today’s OBR forecast shows inflation is set to rise to 3.9% this year, in contrast child benefit has increased by just 40p since 2010. The four year freeze to family benefits coupled with rising inflation already means that parents’ incomes are buying less and less each month; the Chancellor has offered them little to bridge that gap today.

'In the UK 5 million children are expected to be living in poverty by 2020. Two thirds of children already in poverty are from the ‘ordinary working’ families the government says it is making a priority. But the increases to the National Living Wage and personal tax allowances announced mean little in the face of steep rises in inflation, the freeze to family benefits and cuts to tax credits for those with three or more children.

'The Chancellor says he doesn’t want to burden our children’s futures, but today he missed a crucial opportunity to improve the lives of millions of children.'

Media contact:

For more information or an interview, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • 3.9% RPI. OBR March 2017

  • Since 2010 weekly Child Benefit payments have risen by just 40p, and will not rise again before 2020.

  • 3.9 million children are in poverty and 66 per cent are from families where at least one parent is working. Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2015/16, Tables 4a and 4b. Department for Work and Pensions, 2016.

  • IFS have forecast that 5 million children will be in poverty in the UK at the end of the decade (2020/21) https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/8960