Inequality and Social Mobility

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 4:45 pm, 12th June 2019

As I explained, I am short of time so unfortunately, I am not going to give way.

Leaving people to wait for over a month without any income at all, when many may not have any savings, is simply callous, so will the Government end the five-week wait? The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has identified cuts to social security, low pay and high housing costs as key reasons for rises in poverty since 2011. It has said that the benefits freeze, which affects 14 million people on low incomes, is the single biggest driver of rising poverty levels. By the time the freeze is due to end in April next year, the JRF estimates that it will have increased the number of people in poverty by 400,000, but of course, the cuts to social security did not begin or end with the benefits freeze alone. By 2020-21, the Government will be spending £36 billion less each year on working-age social security than they did in 2010.