Response to statement on universal credit

July 20, 2016

 

Responding today to Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green’s announcement of further delays to the roll out of Universal Credit, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:

 

“Although we don’t want the government to rush through the roll out of universal credit if it’s not ready as it will eventually involve half the nation’s children, this latest delay does beg the question of whether the benefit is still fit for purpose. The overriding concern is whether after the severe Summer Budget cuts , Universal Credit will actually achieve its objective of reducing child poverty. Initially the Government estimated that Universal Credit would lift 350,000 children out of poverty; now, ominously, after the cuts, it won’t even give an estimate.

 

“We need action from Government to ensure that this flagship benefit is still capable of bringing the UK’s child poverty rate down. One way of dealing with the problems in administering the new two-child limit for tax credits and universal credit - which will account for about one third of the projected increase in absolute child poverty by 2020 - is to abandon the policy. ”

 

Nots 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.

 

For further information please contact:

Jane Ahrends

CPAG Press and Campaigns Officer

Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302

www.cpag.org.uk