To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to end child poverty.
28 March 2023
The Government is committed to reducing child poverty and supporting low-income families. We will spend around £276bn through the welfare system in Great Britain in 2023/24 including around £124bn on people of working age and children.
With 1.12 million job vacancies across the UK, our focus remains firmly on supporting individuals, including parents, to move into, and progress in work, an approach which is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment - particularly where it is full-time - in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for families and children. The latest statistics show that in 2021/22 children living in workless households were around 5 times more likely to be in absolute poverty after housing costs than those where all adults work.
At the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced an ambitious package of measures designed to support people to enter work, increase their working hours and extend their working lives. The government’s employment package will focus on supporting inactive individuals aged 50+, disabled people, people with long-term health conditions, welfare claimants and parents. We are investing billions in additional childcare support for parents of toddlers, investing in wraparound childcare in schools, and increasing financial support for, and expectations of, parents claiming Universal Credit.
From April, we are uprating benefit rates and State Pensions by 10.1%. In order to increase the number of households who can benefit from these uprating decisions the benefit cap levels are also increasing by the same amount.
To further support those who are in work, including parents, from 1 April 2023, the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase by 9.7% to £10.42 an hour for workers aged 23 and over - the largest ever cash increase for the NLW.
For 2023/24, we have also announced further cost of living support. Households on eligible means-tested benefits will get up to £900 in Cost of Living Payments. This will be split into three payments of around £300 each across the 2023/24 financial year. A separate £300 payment will be made to pensioner households on top of their Winter Fuel Payments and individuals in receipt of eligible disability benefits will receive a £150 payment. Also, the government is maintaining the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 for a further three months, from April 2023.