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The End Child Poverty coalition has today issued a statement on the decision by the Chancellor to extend the £20 increase to Universal Credit for just six months. This offers children in poverty a small lifeline but the coalition is warning that, given the extent of the child poverty crisis before the pandemic, it will require much greater action to pull those children ashore.

‘The uncomfortable reality is that the end of the pandemic will not herald an end to child poverty. Today’s decision to extend the £20 Universal Credit demonstrates the Chancellor understands the importance of social security for low income families. However, we are disappointed that he has not taken the chance to invest in children and make this permanent and has forgotten those children in families in receipt of legacy benefits.

‘The inadequacy of social security support was evident before the pandemic with 4.2 million children growing up trapped in poverty – the vast majority from families where someone was employed. We are deeply concerned about the numbers of children at risk of being pulled into poverty as this extra support will end as unemployment peaks. We urge the Government to tackle the child poverty crisis with a comprehensive and ambitious plan to end child poverty. It is time to free children from poverty that causes shame, stigma and excludes them from the childhood we as a nation agree they all should be able to enjoy.’

Judith Cavanagh, Coordinator, End Child Poverty coalition

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