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Poverty

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of The Marquess of Lothian The Marquess of Lothian Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will take further action to address relative poverty in the UK in response to the Statement on Visit to the United Kingdom, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, published on 16 November.

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

The Government will carefully consider the findings set out in the Special Rapporteur’s interim report published on 16 November. Professor Alston’s final report will be presented to the June 2019 session of the of the Human Rights’ Council. Any formal comments made by the Government in response will be published alongside the final report on the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ website.

Under this Government, income inequality has fallen and remains lower than in 2010; the number of children in workless households is at a record low; and there are 1 million fewer people in absolute poverty (before housing costs) compared with 2010, including 300,000 children.

The Autumn Budget announced a number of changes to Universal Credit ahead of further expansion including an increase of £1,000 in work allowances from April 2019 allowing 2.4 million households to keep an extra £630 of income each year.

Work continues to offer people the best opportunity to move out of poverty. Children living in households where all adults are working are five times less likely to be in relative poverty after housing costs than those in workless families.

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