Universal Credit dubbed a colossal failure

Poverty web

The Child Poverty Action Group has published new research which has shown the effect welfare reform is having on families

6th November 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Child poverty campaigners have described Universal Credit as a colossal failure.

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has said that welfare cuts are hitting the poor the hardest, and have resulted in broken promises being made to the British public.

The charity teamed up with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) for a new piece of research.

The Austerity Generation reveals that the cuts to Universal Credit (UC) will put a further one million children into poverty.

The report also finds that families already at greater risk of poverty – including lone parents, families with very young children, larger families and those with a disability – will be especially hard-hit by a decade of cuts.

CPAG chief executive Alison Garnham said: “The promise of increased rewards from work made to families with children under the new Universal Credit benefit has been broken.

“The Universal Credit we see today is not the Universal Credit that was sold to everyone a few years ago. Even after taking into account increases in the minimum wage, rising tax allowances and extra childcare help, working families will be the biggest losers from cuts made to the benefit system.

“Cuts to Universal Credit have substantially reduced the rewards from work for many families. Cuts and freezes to the work allowances will leave lone parents worse off by £710 a year on average, and couples £250 a year on average, across the population.

“If the government’s flagship anti-poverty measure ends up rolling out poverty then it’s hard not to see that as a colossal failure of public policy.”

Losses for working families from cuts in the tax credit system average £930 a year and £420 a year from cuts to Universal Credit, the analysis found.

The charity has called on the UK Government to restore work allowances, and triple-lock child benefit and the child element of UC in the upcoming budget in a bid to halt increasing levels of poverty.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “We’re committed to supporting families and there are now 200,000 fewer children living in poverty than in 2010.

“This report assumes that people won’t take any steps to improve their lives, which we know is untrue. Unlike the old system, Universal Credit rewards those working more hours.

“Evidence shows that UC claimants look to take on more hours than they did under JSA (Jobseeker’s allowance), and for the first time they get personalised support to help them progress in work.”