'This bill will push many more families into poverty'

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As MPs debate government plans to cap benefit increases below the cost of living, their actions could affect some 11.5m children

young girl clutching her knees

Today, MPs are debating the government’s plan to cap the up-rating of benefits at 1% for the next three years rather than in line with the cost of living. (Read our statement on the bill.)

This new law would affect all families with children receiving child benefit or child tax credit in the UK, roughly 11.5 million children.

Many of the families affected by these changes are those who are in work - 300,000 nurses and midwives, 150,000 primary school teachers and 40,000 armed forces personnel.

For a single-parent primary school teacher with two children this could mean losing £424 a year by 2015 and a second lieutenant in the army with three children earning £470 per week losing £552 a year by 2015.

A double blow for millions of families

This proposal comes on top of a raft of recent welfare changes and if passed would be a double blow for millions of families across the country who already struggle to pay for food, fuel, rent and other basics. 

We know that if prices for these essentials rise faster than benefits, the most vulnerable will be hit hardest.

We believe that it is vital that the government reconsiders and makes sure that increases in benefits at the very least reflect rises in the cost of living. If passed, this bill will push many more families into poverty. And, ultimately, it is the children in these families who will be made to pay the price for government cuts.

 

Media coverage

Listen to Matthew Reed, our chief executive, debate the welfare changes on BBC Radio 5 Live

Listen to Sam Royston, our policy adviser, discuss the reform changes on BBC Radio 4

More on the Welfare Up-Rating Bill

To find out who will be affected and the cost for families please see our briefing. 

Please read our analysis of the Government’s Impact Assessment 

 

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