Poverty: Children

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Labour Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the effect of the full roll out of universal credit on the number of children living in poverty in (a) the UK, (b) the north east, (c) Northumberland and (d) Wansbeck constituency.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We have not made an assessment of the information requested.

However, Universal Credit is designed to help people out of poverty. In line with this strategy, Universal Credit is designed to strengthen incentives for parents to move into and progress in work, and it is working. Universal Credit claimants move into work faster and spend more time looking for work.

In addition, Universal Credit provides improved support for childcare for parents, enabling them to reclaim up to 85% of their eligible childcare costs, which is expected to help 500,000 additional families at a cost of around £350m per year.

Further improvements to UC were also announced in the Budget. For example, work allowance rates will be increased by £1000 from April 2019, directing additional support to some of the most vulnerable low paid working families. A two-week run-on of legacy benefits was also announced, enabling claimants to continue to receive Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, or Income Support for the first fortnight of a Universal Credit claim, with no need to pay back the overlap.

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