29 Sep 2014

In response to the Chancellor’s announcement about freezing working-age benefits from 2016, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'The Chancellor's plans to freeze working-age benefits is a brutal blow to millions of families already hit hard by repeated cuts to critical support. 

'The majority of those affected would be the children of working parents who would see further real-term cuts to their child benefit and child tax credits.

'This comes just hours after the Government announced a further cap on welfare and a scheme that will bar childless 18 to 21-year-olds from housing benefit.

'Far too many families in this country are already struggling to provide a basic standard of living for their children because of the three-year one per cent annual cap in benefit rises put in place at the start of last year. 

'These further cuts will make it harder for families to put food on the table and pay the rent to keep a roof over their head.

'This cap would extend the period of the one percent squeeze on families to half a decade — a typical family could lose as much as £1300 per year by 2018 as a result. Losses in support with rents will come on top of this.'

Media enquiries:

For more information, 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:

•3.7 million children in the UK are living in poverty today: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-inco...

•Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-inco...

•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: http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r78.pdf

•The Children’s Society is supporting the first-ever Children’s Commission on Poverty. 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 has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.