SPRING STATEMENT: NO JUSTIFICATION FOR ONGOING BENEFITS FREEZE

March 13, 2019

Child Poverty Action Group is dismayed that today’s Spring Statement has not brought an end to the freeze on working age benefits, despite cross-party calls for the policy to stop.

 Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said:

 “Struggling families are desperate for an end to the freeze on working age benefits, but this Spring Statement leaves them out in the cold once again. Already the freeze has saved the Treasury more than was ever intended, so there can be no ongoing justification for these ‘stealth cuts’ that mean that the poorest in society have borne the heaviest burden from paying off the deficit.

 “Today, the Chancellor could have sent a lifeline to low-income families. That he didn’t is evidence of Ministers’ refusal to confront the reality that families have been left with too little money to live on after three long years of stagnant incomes and rising prices. Funding sanitary products for girls in schools may help with one small area of expenditure, but this will have a minimal impact on poverty overall. It leaves in tatters the prime minister’s claim that austerity is over.

 “As a country we want all families to prosper but the freeze has left low earners and those who can’t work out in the cold. Child poverty rates risk reaching a record high by the end of this Parliament with two hundred thousand children tipped into poverty as a result of the freeze on children’s benefits alone. We have a moral responsibility to support struggling families, but the Chancellor has ducked this responsibility yet again”.

 

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Media contact: Jane Ahrends 0207 812 5216 07816 909302