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Government figures show 'extra 200,000 children to be pushed into poverty'

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Government figures show 'extra 200,000 children to be pushed into poverty'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Bill Payments, Universal Credit

Government figures show 'extra 200,000 children to be pushed into poverty' Government figures show 'extra 200,000 children to be pushed into poverty'

An additional 200,000 children will be pushed into poverty by the recent cuts to social security benefits and tax credits, according to the Government's own estimates.

The figures, revealed in an answer to a Parliamentary question, reflect the impact that the below-inflation uprating of benefits is likely to have on low-income families.

According to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), the figures also reveal major downward revisions to the poverty-reducing impacts that had previously been claimed by Ministers for Universal Credit.

Alison Garnham, CPAG Chief Executive, said: “The Government’s child poverty strategy is in utter disarray now that Minsters have admitted the poverty-producing Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill will push 200,000 more children into poverty.

"This means in total Coalition policies are set to push a million more children into poverty by 2020. The figures showing the impact on absolute poverty have not been published.

“Ministers seem to be in denial that, under current policies, their legacy threatens to be the worst poverty record of any government for a generation, despite their duties under the Child Poverty Act to reduce child poverty across a basket of measures including absolute, relative and persistent poverty as well as for deprivation levels which show how well families are able to meet basic costs.

“The bad news is compounded by new government figures showing the Universal Credit would not result in nearly as much poverty reduction as Minsters had previously claimed. It will now lift 150,000 children out of poverty not 350,000 as originally claimed.

“Short term spending cuts that create poverty will end up costing taxpayers billions in the future and inflict huge damage on children and our economy.”

According to the CPAG:

  • The Government projects that an estimated 200,000 more children will be living in relative poverty by 2015/16 as a result of the sub-inflation uprating of key in and out-of-work benefits announced in the autumn statement and laid out in the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill 2012.
  • This 200,00 children is in addition to the 400,000 more children that the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has previously projected will be living in relative poverty by 2015 as a result of coalition policies, and the 800,000 more children it estimates will living in relative poverty by 2020.
  • The Government has not disclosed the likely impact of its sub-inflation uprating on absolute poverty rates which measure whether children are experiencing a real, as opposed to relative, fall in the standard of living.
  • With the uprating measure also affecting universal credit (UC) rates going forward, the Government has also had to revise downwards its estimates of the poverty-reducing impact of UC. Previously, it estimated that, when fully implemented, the new benefit would reduce child poverty by 350,000 children, a figure that has now been reduced to 150,000.

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