The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has slammed Chancellor George Osborne’s summer budget, which she warns will plunge more children into poverty.
Commissioner Sally Holland said: “There is absolutely no doubt that more children will be plunged into poverty as a result of the changes announced in the budget today.
“Children are being penalised for living in low-income working families, and are being penalised for having more than one sibling.
“Worryingly, there seems to be a consistent message emerging from the Chancellor and the UK Government that poverty is somehow a lifestyle choice.”
“We now have more low income working families living in poverty in Wales than there are non-working ones. These are hard-working families, struggling with low wages, high housing costs and are dependent on the safety net offered by tax credits to improve the life chances of their children.
“Without this safety net that working families so desperately rely on, children being raised in families who experience in-work poverty are being denied their basic needs, including adequate food, clothing and heating in winter.
“Just last week I highlighted in a joint report with the other UK Children’s Commissioners that the UK Government’s short-term budgetary policies will have long-term, corrosive effects on children across the UK, affecting their health, educational attainment and life expectancy.
Iain Duncan Smith recently announced that the government intends to scrap the Child Poverty Act and redefine the way child poverty is measured.
Sally Holland said: “Changes in measures of child poverty announced by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions last week will make it more difficult to assess the impact of any reduction in support for family incomes on child poverty levels.
“These changes are avoidable and unacceptable. Far more needs to be done to place the best interests of children and young people at the heart of decision making.”