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Universal Credit cut could hit Berkshire children

written by Bella Palmer

According to figures from the DWP, there are 9,498 households with one child in the county claiming Universal Credit in early May

Plans to cut £20 a week from Universal Credit payments could hit thousands of children across Berkshire, many of which are babies.

According to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), there are 9,498 households with one child in the county claiming Universal Credit in early May.

Another 7,909 families claiming had two children and 3,090 had three. There were also 999 families with four children and 354 with five or more.

This means over 40,000 young people are in families who receive the payments. Of the families, 10,186 had a child aged four or younger, and 4,599 had a baby aged one or under.

Overall, 16,699 (76 per cent) of the families had a youngest child aged 10 years old or younger.

The proposed removal of the increase, which comes in October, has been dubbed the largest overnight social security cut since the Second World War.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: The government increased UC because it recognised that without the extra £20 people claiming it – nearly half of them working - wouldn’t have enough to live on. That is as true today as it was a year ago.

She said 300,000 more children will be pushed into poverty if the cut goes ahead. She added that Ministers must heed the calls from right across the political spectrum to revoke the cut in the interests of children’s life chances and of our national recovery.

Across Britain, there were 825,633 families on Universal Credit with one child, 661,670 with two, 257,583 with three, 83,375 with four and 33,056 with five children or more.

This is 1.9 million households with at least 3.4 million children who could be left worse off if the government goes through with the cut.

A government spokesperson said: We are committed to making sure every child gets the best start in life and introduced the temporary uplift as part of a £400 billion support package that has provided a vital safety net for millions of families.

Children in households where every adult is working are around five times less likely to be in poverty than households where nobody works, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said: That is why our focus now is on our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs, which will support people in the long-term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.


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