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Children: Poverty

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 6440, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recently published End Child Poverty data (a) nationally and (b) for Portsmouth South constituency; and if she will make a statement.

Answered on

28 May 2021

No assessment has been made.

In 2019/20, 17% of children were in absolute poverty, before housing costs, a 1 percentage point reduction since 2010. There were also 700,000 fewer people in absolute poverty before housing costs than in 2010, including 100,000 fewer children.

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually. The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in Portsmouth South, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £111 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We also introduced the Covid Winter Grant, now the Covid Local Support Grant, together totalling £269m, administered by local authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed. For Portsmouth City Council this means funding of £1,211,956.46.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help parents move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.