CPAG reaction to Prime Minister’s speech on life chances and parenting

January 11, 2016

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech on life chances and parenting today, Chief Executive of Child  Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said:

“Of course parenting is difficult  - and the most important job there is  -  but it is a whole lot harder to give  your children good chances in life if you’re on poverty pay and clobbered by sky-high housing and childcare costs. Research evidence shows overwhelmingly that low family incomes damage children’s outcomes yet the Government is planning to cut universal credit for low-paid working parents – in much the same way as it wanted to cut tax credits for hard-up working families.  And unless the Welfare Reform and Work Bill is amended, the UK won’t even have a target for reducing income poverty.

“Parents do need support but any credible plan to improve children’s life chances must ensure families have a decent income. If it was wrong to cut tax credits for hard-up families, it is wrong to cut universal credit for those very same low-paid families who are trying to build a future. If it wants to improve children’s life chances, rather than taking money away from parents on modest incomes and degrading work incentives, the Government should be investing in universal credit as a platform into jobs with the prospect of progression.”

Note to Editors:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.