The government has admitted its policy of capping increases in benefits will result in around 200,000 more children being in relative income poverty by 2015-16. The information has emerged in a written answer in Parliament from a junior DWP minister.
Following the recent Autumn Statement, the government is planning to limit the increase in most working-age benefits to just 1 per cent in each of the three years, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. This is likely to lead to benefits both being cut in real terms (relative to consumer prices) and falling behind average earnings increases over the period.
The Child Poverty Action Group said the government's child poverty strategy was in 'utter disarray', with its policies overall set to push a million more children into poverty by 2020, and accused ministers of being 'in denial'. The government said it was 'not helpful' to look at relative income in isolation as a way of tracking progress on eradicating child poverty.