Charity urges Labour to rethink child benefit move

Ed balls

Poverty Alliance say Labour's logic on child benefit is flawed

23rd September 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Prominent anti-poverty campaigners have urged Labour to rethink proposals to curb child benefit.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said he would cap child benefit increases at 1% in the first two years of the parliament as well as increase the minimum wage and the top rate of income tax if Labour wins power at the next election. 

We should be doing all we can to lift children out of poverty, not making things harder for families

Balls made the proposals this week at a Labour conference, saying that it was it was a tough decision but fairrter for all.  

However Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance urged Balls and the Labour party to re-think.

“It is in everyone’s interests that we do all we can to tackle child poverty, and again I would urge the Labour party to re-think their position on child benefits,” he said.

“The Institute of Fiscal Studies predict that one in four children will be living in poverty by 2020,” said Kelly.

“We should be doing all we can to lift children out of poverty, not making things harder for families.” 

Kelly added children are already at greater risk of poverty than either working age adults or pensioners with 180,000 children in Scotland living in poverty. 

“The effects of child poverty cannot be understated,” he said. “Experiencing child poverty can undermine the health, wellbeing and educational attainment of children and the costs of not tackling child poverty are huge."

In 2008, research commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimated that child poverty cost the country £25 billion a year.