Budget announcements on Universal Credit welcome but not enough to make work pay
Posted 22 November 2017
The Government’s second budget of the year has made welcome and long-needed changes. But it has failed to reverse harsh cuts that are falling on the very families it has promised to support.
Responding to the Budget, Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of Gingerbread said:
“Once again the government has failed to address support for families who are ‘just about managing’. With almost one in four families single parent families, children across the UK will continue to face the risk of poverty unless the Government re-thinks its current economic policies and shifts the balance away from responding to the political weather, towards genuine support for families.
Cutting Universal Credit waiting times and extending the repayment period for advances are welcome changes for which Gingerbread has been calling. But it is the tip of the iceberg – with significant welfare cuts continuing to undermine the Government’s mantra that it will ‘make work pay’.
Working families on low wages are facing huge losses under Universal Credit, with single parent families particularly badly hit. Reversing cuts to the work allowance would be a more effective measure to make a real difference to these family’s lives. Working single parents will lose £800 a year on average compared to the current system due to the work allowance.
Without this change and with the cost of living set to rise, spiralling debt, rent arrears and increasing levels of poverty will continue to be the reality for most single parent families moving onto Universal Credit. Most single parents are in work but many are living in poverty. Work is simply not paying.”