Statement in response to the welfare reform bill vote in the House of Commons

01 February 2012

Enver Solomon, Policy Director at The Children’s Society, said:

'The government has today made life more difficult for some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the country.

'The Children’s Society recognises the benefit cap grace period, additional hardship funds, and the exemption of some Employment Support Allowance claimants are genuine concessions. But this does not go far enough to reduce the disproportionate impact of this policy on the most disadvantaged children.

'The vote to include child benefit when calculating the benefit cap means that more than 220,000 children have an uncertain future as they and their families will struggle to pay for fuel bills, basic essentials or, in some cases, the roof over their heads.

'It is particularly disheartening that the government has voted through cuts of up to £1,400 a year for as many as 100,000 disabled children. This will have a significant impact on day-to-day living for families with disabled children, including buying essentials like food and clothes.

'Our analysis shows that 40 percent of disabled children live in poverty. The government has dealt a serious blow to one of the most vulnerable groups of children in the country.'

Ends

Media enquiries

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

Notes to editors

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.