Autumn Statement: “hugely disappointing” say child poverty campaigners

November 23, 2016

John Dickie, director of Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, reacted today to the Autumn Statement saying:

“This Autumn Statement was hugely disappointing for those of us who hoped the Prime Minister was going to act to back up the rhetoric on supporting families who are ‘just about managing’ . The Chancellor’s lowering of the universal credit taper is a sticking plaster to family budgets that are haemorrhaging losses imposed on them by his predecessor’s budgets.

Low income working families have been left thousands of pounds worse off and horribly exposed to rising prices. So it was surprising and disappointing that today the Government chose the better off, rather than ’just managing’ families, when it chose to spend billions on raising personal tax allowances and cutting corporation tax.

“The rhetoric on just managing families will end up being meaningless if the UK Government ploughs on with policies like cuts to work allowances within universal credit and the freeze on family benefits that are set to tip the just managing into hardship and push more children into poverty.”

The campaigners say the small gains for ‘just managing’ families in today’s Autumn Statement are welcome but for most of these households, they will be dwarfed by the losses they will sustain as a result of Summer 2015 Budget social security cuts.

Responding to Treasury briefing that a single parent with one child and no housing costs working 15 hours a week will gain £170 per year from the lower Universal Credit ‘taper rate’ announced today, CPAG points out that in reality today’s announcement simply means this lone parent will lose £3000 a year, rather than £3,170 a year, as a result of the substantial package of cuts announced in the Summer 2015 Budget. (1)

Notes to Editors

(1) CPAG analysis