There were an estimated 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2013. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four. Under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise, with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by the end of 2015/16. This upward trend is expected to continue with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020. Source: http://www.cpag.org.uk/child-poverty-facts-and-figures
The recent government budget has seen a raft of measures to cut £12 billion from the welfare system. The bulk of this has come from cuts to in-work benefits that help to make work pay, and cash transfers that are designed to ensure no child grows up in poverty. The government will cut completely the family element of the child tax credit and universal credits. As with all tax credit and universal credit elements, this is means-tested so it goes to the lowest income families, including those out of work.
None of this is good news for families – but it is consistent with the government’s chosen means of reducing the deficit. In addition, the increase in the tax credit taper rate (from 41 per cent to 48 per cent), means that families will keep less of every extra pound they earn – taking into account benefit withdrawal and tax, low income families will keep as little of 20p of every extra £1 they earn. Source: New Statesman
A local Home-Start family anticipate feeling the pinch as a result of these welfare cuts – Lucy works Saturday & Sunday, her husband Monday to Friday – despite their hard work, with two small children they have calculated that they will be £1200 worse off a year.
Home-Start volunteers work with families to help them budget and signpost to benefits and support to ease pressure on their financial situations.
Child Poverty Action Groups Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook 2015/16 has recently been published. Get your copy here http://www.cpag.org.uk/bookshop/wbtch