JRF - 'Unjustifiable' benefits freeze means another tough year ahead for low income families
Families in poverty face another year of frozen benefits from 8 April, amid the uncertainty of Brexit.
More are likely to be pulled into poverty following the Government’s decision to continue the freeze on working-age benefits and tax credits until 2020, despite declaring austerity over.
The freeze was introduced in April 2016. Between then and November 2018, the cost of living for people on low incomes rose by £900.
By continuing the freeze for a fourth year families living in poverty will be left a total of £560 worse off on average – equivalent to three months of food shopping for an average low-income family.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:
“In the midst of huge political and economic uncertainty, families who have already seen their support eroded know that the coming year will be hard to get through. It’s not right that more parents will face impossible situations - trying to decide which essential bills to pay and what they can cut back on to make it through each week.
“Keeping benefits and tax credits frozen is unjustifiable. 4.1 million children are now locked in poverty – nearly three quarters of whom are in a working household.
“The risks of economic uncertainty should not be allowed to disproportionally affect those with no leeway in their finances. Ending the freeze is the right thing to do and would have helped working families stay afloat.
“As the Government approaches its spending review, it needs to look at how best to protect people from harm who are otherwise left without an anchor in uncertain times.”
The decision to continue the freeze for another year will result in 10.7 million people in poverty missing out on £220 per year to help cover the increased cost of living, and 200,000 more people being locked in poverty.
Latest News from
IFG - Government is guilty of repeated outsourcing failures – but Labour’s policy risks throwing away the successes17/09/2019 11:35:00
Labour’s policy of bringing public services back into government hands by default would be a mistake, argues a new report from the Institute for Government. But senior politicians have consistently overstated how much money is saved by outsourcing services.
IEA: Opposition’s school reform proposals are a “threat to freedom”17/09/2019 10:35:00
Professor Len Shackleton comments on Labour plans
IFG - The Treasury must overhaul its approach to public spending17/09/2019 09:35:00
A new report for the Institute for Government has found that public spending is often wasteful, with the government failing to set out clear spending intentions and taking decisions without clear information.
NIESR Monthly Wage Tracker: Strong earnings data driven by July bonuses and public sector pay but further pick-up unlikely12/09/2019 14:25:00
Strong earnings data driven by July bonuses and public sector pay but further pick-up unlikely.
NIESR Monthly GDP Tracker – Economic growth resumes for now10/09/2019 14:25:00
The UK economy is on course to grow by 0.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2019, a resumption of growth after a 0.2 per cent fall in the second quarter when production had slackened after being boosted in the first quarter by stockbuilding ahead of the original Brexit departure date (figure 1).
NLGN - Government must adopt a radical new approach to children's services to avert the growing crisis10/09/2019 10:35:00
New research: In the wake of the Spending Round, NLGN think tank argues the Government must adopt a radical new approach to children’s services to avert the growing crisis.
Demos - Young people and renters are being shut out of the planning system10/09/2019 09:35:00
People Powered Planning, published yesterday [9 September] by Demos, shows that engagement in the planning system is often dominated by those that are less supportive of new homes in their local area.
IFG - Government and Parliament relations deteriorating due to Brexit and minority government05/09/2019 13:35:00
A new paper from the Institute for Government looking at different areas of Parliament’s activity in the 2017-19 session finds that the relationship between Parliament and government has deteriorated in many areas, most recently in relation to prorogation.