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Children: Poverty

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hay of Ballyore Lord Hay of Ballyore DUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to tackle child poverty across the United Kingdom.

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

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave on Wednesday 27 February HL13942

There is clear evidence that work offers the best opportunity for families to move out of poverty and towards financial independence. Children in workless households are around 5 times more likely to be in poverty after housing costs than those where all adults work. 62% of children living in a workless couple family are in relative poverty (before housing costs) compared with only 3% where both adults work full-time.

This is why we are continuing to undertake the most ambitious reform to the welfare system in decades – so that it supports people to find and to stay in work. Nationally, there are now over 3.5 million more people in work. Universal Credit is at the heart of these reforms. It is designed to promote full-time work and employment for partners where possible, through smoother incentives to increase hours.

Working parents on UC can have up to 85% of their childcare costs reimbursed – worth up to £1,108 per month for someone with two or more children. We have also introduced additional flexibility on support for up front childcare costs, increased work allowances, and doubled free childcare available to working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours per week.

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