Hundreds of thousands of children across the UK are at risk of being “pushed into poverty”, a charity has warned.
A new analysis from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found that 200,000 children could enter poverty if benefits are uprated by wages rather than inflation.
The data found that the average increase in prices for 2023/24 compared to 2021/22 is 16% for all households, but the inflation rate for low-income families is 19%.
The charity has now warned that if benefits only go up with earnings in the next year, that low-income households will receive 10% less in social security than they did two years ago.
John Dickie, director of CPAG in Scotland, has now called on the government to provide “reassurance” to struggling parents.
He said: “The UK government needs to reassure struggling parents now that their children are not on the list for so-called efficiency savings.
“The damage to children’s health, education and wellbeing when they are plunged into poverty is devastating and lifelong.
“The chancellor must honour the promise to uprate benefits in line with inflation. U-turning on children’s futures cannot be an option.”
“In Scotland, the Scottish government’s investment in social security and imminent increase to the Scottish child payment stands in strong contrast to threatened UK policy.
“But here too ministers need to continue to do the right thing and ensure that Scottish benefits, including the soon-to-be £25 a week Scottish child payment, at the very least hold their real terms value next year.”