Universal Credit will help some families, but mums working hard to stay above the breadline are its big blind spot. It’s incredibly hard bringing up 3 kids on £370 a week – losing almost a fifth of that will push many families over the edge.
The government must make sure mums who want to work keep more of their incomes and get more support with childcare. Otherwise we’ll see fewer women in the workplace and more children growing up in poverty.
According to the latest briefing from Save the Childrten. Around 150,000 of the UK’s poorest single working mothers could lose up to £68 a week under the universal credit, with the effect that a quarter of a million children will be pushed further into poverty, and that welfare reforms will also hurt ‘second earners’ – most of whom are women – with some families losing up to £1800 per year.
There are 3.5m children living in poverty in the UK and that the majority of these children come from working households.
So much for Iain Duncan Smith trumpeting the benefits of Universal Credit way back in late 2010. It’s creating further poverty. But one thing IDS gets right in that speech is this:
So it is time to bring welfare into the 21st Century.
Yes, a 19th century Dickensian model of welfare dragged forward in time to 2012.