Poverty: Children

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered am ar 8 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government, following the release of data showing that the number of children living in absolute poverty has risen by the highest rate in 30 years, what steps they are taking to address the increase in child poverty rates.

Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

These statistics cover 2022/23, a year when war in Ukraine and global supply chain challenges led to unexpected and high rates on inflation, averaging 10% over the year. These factors are reflected in the statistics. In response to these pressures, the Government provided an unprecedented cost of living support package which helped to shield households from the impact of inflation. Analysis shows that the Government’s cost of living support prevented 1.3 million people from falling into absolute poverty after housing costs in 2022/23. That includes 300,000 children, 600,000 working-age adults and 400,000 pensioners.

Since the period covered by these statistics, the Government has taken firm action to support families on the lowest incomes. The Government has spent around £276bn through the welfare system in 2023/24, including around £125bn on people of working age and children. We took action to support those on the lowest incomes by uprating benefits and State Pensions by 10.1% from April 2023. We are continuing to support people in 2024/25 by uprating working age benefits by 6.7% and raising the Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents, benefiting 1.6 million low-income households.

With over 900,000 vacancies across the UK, our focus remains firmly on supporting parents to move into and progress in work, an approach which is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment - particularly where it is full-time - in substantially reducing the risk of child poverty. The latest statistics show that in 2022/23, children living in workless households were over 6 times more likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) than those where all adults work.

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