Budget 2015: 'see no poverty, hear no poverty'

March 18, 2015

Responding today to the Chancellor’s Budget speech, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:

“The chancellor made claim to a truly national recovery but this is a ‘see no poverty, hear no poverty’ Budget which continues to leave children and the low paid behind.

“The claim that child poverty is down is only true if you ignore the impact of the Chancellor’s big benefit cuts. Official child poverty statistics for the years in which benefit levels were cut and the benefit cap and bedroom tax were introduced will be published only after the election.

“The Institute for Fiscal Studies forecasts that the Chancellor’s tax and benefit decisions will lead to child poverty rising by 400,000 over this parliament and by 700,000 overall by 2020. This means the cost of child poverty, currently £29bn a year, is set to rise significantly. (1)

“Ministers have to face up to the reality that we’re on course for the biggest rise in child poverty in a generation and take urgent action. Families need politicians to prioritise support for parents through Child Benefit and to restore the cuts in tax credits and Universal Credit for the low paid. They also need policies that tackle high rents and childcare costs.

“The increase in the personal tax allowance is expensive and poorly targeted. The same money channelled through tax credit and universal credit would do much more for the low paid.”

Notes to Editors:

(1) Institute for Fiscal Studies child poverty forecasts are here: http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/comm121.pdf

CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.

CPAG is the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty coalition, which has members from across civil society including children’s charities, faith groups, unions and other civic sector organisation, united in their campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met.