Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 14th February 2019.

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Ilona Pinter:

There are obviously concerns about families being separated by income thresholds. The Children’s Society works within the UK, and our concerns are about those who are already here, as well as about families in the future. As I said, I think access to benefits and vital services is absolutely essential for families and particularly for children who currently miss out on vital things like free school meals and the pupil premium—things that are aimed at families on a low income and in material deprivation to help them to overcome and to have the best life chances in the future.

I want to add one more thing about the White Paper. It would be really beneficial to have proper public consultation on the White Paper; we have an opportunity to really look at this in detail. A lot of the focus in the White Paper is on the economic aspects, which are obviously very important, but a lot of cultural and social integration issues need to be thought through properly, as does, I would argue, how these complicated rules and systems are going to impact on children’s rights. The Children’s Minister committed in November to doing a children’s rights impact assessment on all new policy and legislation coming in. This is a great opportunity to do that. We have 12 months: we would really welcome the opportunity to work with Government and look at this in the round to make sure that proper account is taken of the wide-scale impact that it will have.