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Poverty: Children

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL16708, tabled on 26 June 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Buscombe on 17 June (HL Deb, col 653), how many children living in absolute poverty in a household where the adult is (1) self-employed, and (2) in part-time employment, will benefit from the “£1.7 billion a year cash boost to our welfare system”; and by how much the family income will increase per annum in those households.

Answered on

9 July 2019

The change announced in the Budget will enable working parents and people with disabilities on Universal Credit to keep £630 extra income each year or around £12 per week.

HM Treasury’s distributional analysis, published alongside Budget 2018, shows the cumulative effect on household incomes of policies on welfare, tax, and public service spending measures. Because different measures often interact with each other, this cumulative assessment provides the best representation of the overall intended policy effect. This shows that the Government’s decisions have benefited households throughout the income distribution, with the poorest households gaining the most as a percentage of net income.

DWP has not conducted research into the impact of Universal Credit on household poverty. Estimates of the number and proportion of individuals in relative low income are published in the National Statistics Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series, available on gov.uk.

The latest annual publication was on 2017/18 data and we will continue to monitor relative low income rates in future publications. We are committed to building a country that works for everyone – not just the privileged few. We know that work is the best route out of poverty and Universal Credit is designed to strengthen incentives for parents to move into and progress in work. The impact of Universal Credit cannot be considered in isolation; it is a key component of a broader strategy to move Britain to a higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax society.