Poverty

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th December 2020.

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Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Labour, Hemsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward an anti-poverty strategy.

Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Labour, Hemsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of recent Legatum Institute research which found that 700,000 people in the UK including 120,000 children have been pushed into poverty as a result of the economic effect of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Tackling child poverty is a key priority for this Government. We have provided an unprecedented package of support throughout the pandemic, injecting billions into the welfare system for those most in need, including increases to the Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit standard allowances of up to £1040 this financial year, and uplifts to the Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the lowest 30% of market rents. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people, with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

Our long-term ambition is to level up across the country and to continue to tackle child poverty, through our reformed welfare system that works with the labour market to encourage parents to move into, and progress in work, wherever possible. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for children.

Our £30bn Plan for Jobs is another step on the ladder to achieving this and will support economic recovery through new schemes including Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support. We are also doubling the number of work coaches who, through our Jobcentre network, will provide more people with the tailored support they need to move back into work and towards financial independence.

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