The Tories relentless assault on welfare benefits could plunge millions of more people into poverty, according to a left-leaning think tank.
An analysis of Tory welfare cuts by the Resolution Foundation and Landman Economics found that an extra 3.6 million people could be pushed below the breadline by Christmas 2030, including 1.9 million children.
The damning revelation shows that the number of children living in poverty is set to soar by a shocking 75% by 2030, unless the Government shows a change of heart and halts in attack on Britain’s poorest people.
It means that the number of children living in poverty will rise to 4.4 million in just fifteen years, around one-if-four (28%) of all children living in Britain.
The number of children living in “absolute” poverty is also expected to rise by 800,000 over the same period.
According to the report, the poorest 10% of Brits can expect their annual income to rise by just £90 a year, easily dwarfed by rising living costs, while the richest 10% will see their income boosted to the tune of an extra £1,600 each year.
Chancellor George Osborne reversed planned cut to tax credits in the Autumn Spending Review, but has so far refused to rethink similar reductions to Universal Credit.
Opponents argue that the Chancellor has simply shunted the cuts from tax credits to Universal Credit, a claim supported by a Labour Party analysis suggesting that the changes will leave some families hundreds of pounds a year worse off.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the figures released by the Resolution Foundation are a “damning indictment of Tory economic policy”.
He added: “The shameful legacy of this government will be that more children will be in poverty and inequality will be wider than it was before they took power.
“George Osborne’s Scrooge-like approach to the economy has not helped with the costs faced by many working families at this time of year as many seasonal items have run ahead of wages.
“And the Christmas present he has left for 2030 is more of the same.”
Fabians general secretary Andrew Harrop said: “If decisions made this year go unchanged, more British children will be hungry at Christmas 2030 than today.
“We will live in a country where food banks are an entrenched part of life, not a response to short-term crisis.”
Concerns have even been expressed by the Government’s social mobility adviser, Alan Milburn. The former Labour minister urged George Osborne to reverse cuts to Universal Credit.
Mr Milburn said: “Without changes to Universal Credit, George Osborne’s welcome decision to reverse tax credit changes will merely defer the pain for many low-paid working families.
“As the economy strengthens, the Government should look to reverse cuts to universal credit so that this key welfare reform can improve work incentives. It should take the opportunity in 2016 to set out a timetable for doing so.”
A spokesperson told the Daily Mirror that the Government is committed to “an all-out assault on poverty”, adding:
“Work is the best way out of poverty and with a stronger economy we now have record numbers in work and the number of workless households is at a record low.
“We are absolutely committed to building one nation where nobody is defined by the circumstances of their birth.”