Today the Lords vote on government policies to cut tax credits, the extra support people on low wages receive to ‘top up’ their incomes. With over two thirds of children growing up in poverty living in a working family, tax credits are a vital tool to help families make ends meet. Many independent experts have already pointed out the impact these cuts will have on families: £4.4 billion will be taken from low-paid families next year alone, an average of £1350 per family.
With conference ‘fun’ over, it’s back to business as usual and the relentless march of the benefit cap. With parliament returning this week, today work will continue on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. And, chief amongst our concerns with the measures proposed in the bill, include the impact on children of lowering the level of the benefit cap and how to prevent its most harmful effects.
The Resolution Foundation made the news last week with their estimates of the impact on child poverty of the Summer Budget.
This was the question facing a panel convened by Bright Blue and the Child Poverty Action Group at a fringe event I attended at the Conservative Party Conference this week. Josephine Tucker reports.
After the 2015 election the Prime Minister promised ‘blue-collar Conservatism’, which he said was about 'giving everyone in our country the chance to get on, with the dignity of a job, the pride of a pay cheque, a home of their own and the security and peace of mind that comes from being able to support a family’.
UPDATE 29 September: Good news, it looks like the government has seen sense on free school meals. David Cameron's spokesperson said today that the government was committed to it's manifesto pledge to continue universal free school meals. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition!