To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on trends in the level of poverty among single parent families in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
15 June 2021
It is not possible to estimate the impacts of COVID-19 on relative and absolute poverty as this requires estimates of income for all people in the UK and this data is not yet available.
A range of measures are designed to support claimants, including one parent families such as easements from work-related requirements, same day advances and signposting to expert third-party services. There is also help available for childcare costs for children of any age. Claimants can recover up to 85% of their eligible childcare costs through UC (or 70% of those costs through working tax credits). Further assistance may be available through the Flexible Support Fund.
Since Covid-19, we have also strengthened the welfare system, spending £7.4 billion on measures such as the Universal Credit uplift, on top of additional support such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
We have built on this extra support through the introduction of our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, now running until 20th June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.
he Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, backed by £220 million, has already provided support during the Easter holidays this year, and will continue to do so during the summer and Christmas holidays.