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Child Poverty: Future Trends

Volume 715: debated on Monday 6 June 2022

The latest official statistics show that 200,000 fewer children were on absolute low income before housing costs in 2020-21, compared with 2019-20. This Government take the cost of living very seriously, and that is why we have announced a new £15 billion support package targeted at those most in need, bringing the total cost of living support to £37 billion this year.

The Department’s own data makes it clear that rates of absolute child poverty after housing costs in families with three or more children rose by 300,000 between 2016-17 and 2019-20. With the situation for children in these families having worsened significantly, and with inflation biting, will the Government now finally reconsider their pernicious two-child policy?

The two-child policy plays an important role in balancing fairness between those receiving benefits and those who are not. However, as we have already said through much of the questioning today, we have put a huge package on the table, which will benefit families of all sizes. With a vibrant employment market, there are big opportunities for people not just to get into work, but to progress in work as well.