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Poverty: Children

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th January 2020.

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Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce child poverty.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

This Government is committed to delivering a sustainable, long-term solution to poverty in all its forms. Tackling child poverty requires an approach that goes beyond one that focuses on income alone to one that addresses the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and improves long-term outcomes for families and children.

Through Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, published in 2017, we set out detailed evidence on the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and their impact on the outcomes of children in families where none of the parents is working. We also set out nine indicators to track progress in the areas that matter, including two statutory measures of parental worklessness and educational attainment – the two areas that we know can make the biggest difference to children’s outcomes.

There is clear evidence that children in working households are not only less likely to grow up in poverty – their life chances are also significantly better. We will therefore continue to reform the welfare system so that it works with the tax system and the labour market to support employment and higher pay. Promoting full-time work through work incentives is a key feature of this approach, reinforced by the National Living Wage and the rising Personal Tax Allowance, which work together to promote independence from benefits.

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