Monday, October 14, 2019

DWP savaged over ‘appalling’ response to soaring child poverty rates

Twitter users rubbish DWP claims that work is the best route out of poverty.

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.”

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.

Read More: Rising child poverty “should sound a warning bell” for UK government, says charity

Twitter users were quick to react to the DWP’s comments:

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