QUEEN’S SPEECH: LOW PAID STILL FACING BENEFIT CUTS, STILL GAINING LEAST FROM PTA RISE
CPAG Media Release
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes today’s Queen’s Speech measures to increase free childcare provision but criticised the decision to invest in raising the personal tax allowance threshold, as an expensive and poorly targeted measure which will benefit the lowest income families least.
CPAG’s Head of Policy Imran Hussain said:
"Today’s Queen’s Speech leaves the low paid still facing benefit cuts, still gaining least from the personal tax allowance rise. The best test of the Government’s stated desire to provide opportunities for the most disadvantaged is its child poverty record. Unless it takes action now, it will fail that test comprehensively.
“With two thirds of poor children living in working families, the focus on those in work is welcome but freezing in-work benefits will harm the low paid, undermine the Government’s own flagship Universal Credit and mean that the Government fails to meet the statutory targets it signed up to ending child poverty.”
“The extra hours of free childcare are a great step forward for the many parents who are either priced out of the jobs market or who can’t increase their hours because childcare costs are spiralling. It’s essential ministers implement this measure properly, ensuring that the childcare help on offer is of good quality in every area.”
Higher tax allowance:
“The Government is right to recognise that we need to do more for the low paid but, despite the hype, the big winners of raising the personal tax allowance are people in higher income groups not the low paid, who benefit least because their incomes are small and who find much of what they gain under this policy will be clawed back by the benefits system. The Government could do far more for the low paid, at a much lower cost, by investing instead in tax credits and its own flagship Universal Credit.”
“The benefit cap has pushed more children into poverty, breached international law and has done little to make work a more viable option for the families hit by it, with very few moving into work or to a new home. On the Government’s own terms, it has failed, producing negligible, if any, savings. Most of the parents affected are single mums or dads with children so young that even the Government thinks they should not have to work. Ministers have yet to make a case for a policy that the DWP’s own impact assessment reveals is nine times more likely to hit children than adults. A lower cap would undermine, not strengthen, family security.”
Notes to editors:
• 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.
For further information please contact:
CPAG Press and Campaigns Officer
Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302