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Child poverty still expected to rise by 100,000 per year, says CPAG

Children’s charities fear the Budget’s impact on poorer families

Child Poverty Action Group believes that the Budget has done nothing to prevent child poverty rising by 100,000 per year.

Commenting on the Chancellor's Budget announcements, the Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham, said:

"This budget has been massively oversold as a budget for working families. The help being given to hard-pressed families through the income tax system will be blown out of the water by the multiple raids on the tax credits the poorest families depend on.  

"The £2 billion bombshell of cuts to support for the poorest working families is still set to strike next month. The Budget will do nothing to change the dire warnings from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that child poverty is set to rise from now on, with another 400,000 children in poverty by the end of the parliament.

"The Treasury has published analysis today showing that the poorest half of British people will be making a greater contribution to deficit reduction than 4 out of 5 people in the richest half."

On the changes to proposals for withdrawal of child benefit from higher earners, she added:

"The Chancellor has taken a step in the right direction, showing he has listened to our campaigning, but the new claw back will be complicated and costly to administer. In the end, we are still asking families with children to pay for tax breaks for the very richest. This does not pass the fairness test - it would be fairer to ask all high earners make a contribution than just to target families with children."

Family and Parenting Institute
Dr Katherine Rake, Chief Executive of the Family and Parenting Institute, commented on the changes to child benefit:

"The removal of the cliff-edge loss of child benefit at £43,000 is a relief. But we remain concerned that money saved by denying some families child benefit could be eaten up through the expense of administering a tapered system. Mr Osborne said simplicity was a core aim of his tax and benefit system. Universal child benefit was appealingly simple."

"This new announcement on child benefit will not compensate for the raft of tax and benefit changes which are hitting UK families financially."

She added:

"In response to the riots last August, the Prime Minister proposed introducing a Family Test on all new policies to ensure family life was not inadvertently damaged by Government decisions. The Chancellor's raft of tax and benefit measures would not pass such a test."

Children's Society
The Children's Society
were also critical of the impact of the Budget on poorer households.

"Instead of producing a roadmap to meet its commitment to end child poverty by 2020, the Chancellor is considering slashing a further £10 billion from the welfare budget.

"Raising the personal income tax allowance may appear to help those in greatest need but the reality is that cuts elsewhere will still leave many of the poorest families struggling to put food on the table, pay for a day out together or buy new clothes. The basic essentials are slipping further out of reach of more and more people. The government has missed an opportunity to help reverse this slide.

"If the Chancellor wants to support low-income families, he should have invested money in the Universal Credit. Helping them with their increasing childcare costs would have gone a long way to making work pay."