Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

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Photo of Lord Bird Lord Bird Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, they have had with the devolved administrations since 2010 about possible coordinated actions across the UK to reduce (1) poverty, and (2) child poverty; whether they have learned any lessons from specific initiatives introduced by those administrations that may now be applied in England; and if so, what.

Photo of Baroness Buscombe Baroness Buscombe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

This Government is committed to an approach to tackling poverty that goes beyond a focus on the safety net of the welfare system. Work is the best route out of poverty and our welfare reforms are designed to incentivise employment and support people to progress in work. There are now 954,000 fewer workless households and 608,000 fewer children in workless households across the UK compared with 2010. Through Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families we have set out a framework for a continued focus for improving outcomes for workless families, now and in the future.

The Scottish Government has powers in the Scotland Act 2016 to introduce new provision in areas where responsibility is devolved and the Devolved Government in Wales and Scotland are also free to develop their own approaches to tackling child poverty.

Officials in DWP continue to have regular engagement with devolved administrations on a wide range of welfare issues, including constructive discussions about the Improving Lives evidence base and approaches to tackling poverty.

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