Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th December 2021.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the impact of the end of support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on levels of child poverty.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Official child poverty statistics covering the period 2020/21, will be published in March 2022, as part of the Department’s (a) Children in Low Income Families and (b) Households Below Average Income publications, subject to the usual checks on data quality.

This Government believes work is the best route out of poverty. Our approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment - particularly where it is full-time – in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for families and children. In 2019/20, children in households where all adults were in work were around six times less likely to be in absolute poverty (before housing costs) than children in a household where nobody works. Compared with 2010, there were almost 1 million fewer workless households and almost 580,000 fewer children living in workless households in the UK in September 2021.

Furthermore, our multi-billion-pound Plan for Jobs, which has recently been expanded by £500 million, will help people across the UK to find work and to boost their wages and prospects.

However, we recognise that some people may require extra support over the winter as we continue our recovery from the impacts of the COVID pandemic, which is why vulnerable households will be able to access a new £500 million support fund to help them with essentials. This includes £421 million for the Household Support Fund, which will help vulnerable people in England with the cost of food, utilities and wider essentials.

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