The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been slammed on Twitter over their response to rising child poverty, with many people pointing out that work is no longer the guaranteed route out of poverty it once was.
The department were responding to new figures showing that a further 100,000 children have been pushed below the breadline, rising from 4 million to 4.1 million.
The data also shows that the risk of poverty for self-employed couples with children has increased from 30% to 33% (AHC) and from 47% to 49% for lone parents. The risk of poverty for children in families with 3 or more children rose from 39% to 42%.
The same statistics also showed a percentage point drop in the number of people in absolute poverty (after housing costs), from 20% to 19%.
Commenting on the figures, the DWP’s press office said on Twitter: “The best route out of poverty is through employment, so it’s encouraging that an extra three million people have joined the workforce since 2010. We have also seen absolute poverty for lone parents fall over the same period.”
Referring to the roll-out of Universal Credit, which merged six current benefits and tax credits into one, the DWP said: “Universal Credit has a strong focus on families, allowing working parents to claim back up to 85% of childcare costs.
“We also offer parents tailored support to move into work that fits around their caring responsibilities.”
— DWP Press Office (@dwppressoffice) March 22, 2018
This is all well and good, you may think, but official data reveals that the majority of children in poverty (around 67%) come from households where at least one person is already in work.
Twitter users were quick to react to the DWP’s comments:
In work poverty continues to rise yet you continue to spread misinformation. Appalling.
— Paul Treloar (@PaulieTandoori) March 22, 2018
Employment rates have been good since 2010, and yet child poverty is increasing. Evidently employment is *not* a good way out of poverty. So why do you say it is? pic.twitter.com/hQaEWo3hUn
— Gummitch #FBPE (@gummitch_uk) March 23, 2018
Poverty is up. There is no counterpoint. Inequality is up. There is no argument. Your cruelty knows no bounds. That is beyond question.
— Nick O'Donnell #FBPE (@gnickodonnell) March 23, 2018
Big Bro ministry of truth- 1984 is a reality under this govt. BS from start to finish that statement – and we the people know it. Spin has unspun and we get our facts and news not from the MSM we were once reliant on. Wake up &smell the coffee numpties!
— caro (@jannerjay) March 23, 2018
What utter rubbish! I have yet to assist a UC claimant who has eneed up better off than before even when working and yesterday I found out that students who work will not get UC but did get Working Tax Credit. Shame on you.
— Sarah Flavell (@trianglesister) March 23, 2018
Please! Can we have one day when our government doesn't completely lie to us??? History will judge you sickos https://t.co/lRqdyYyqIv
— RD (@RPD_Bear) March 23, 2018
What lies from the DWP again Poverty is staring out from every town & city in the Country. Yet the DWP continues lying to the public they are a total disgrace
— Stephen (@299Stephen) March 23, 2018
"3 million people have entered the workforce since 2010"
The population increased by 4+million since 2010. Claiming credit for people working is a huge misuse of statistics. You aren't supposed to be partisan but it appears you think you are employed by the Tory party.
— CoraBlimey#NHS#SOS💜 (@las2950) March 22, 2018