(Images added by Welfare News Service).
The government’s savage welfare cuts will shove the majority of British children below the breadline within two years, the TUC warned yesterday.
The trade union organisation said that harsh tax and welfare reforms – both existing and in the future – will chuck nearly half a million more children into poverty.
Landman Economics director Howard Reed analysed how the government’s current and future welfare changes will affect families’ lives for the report A Bleak Future For Families.
The research revealed that the effects of the government’s policies over the course of this Parliament will leave 690,000 more children living below the minimum income standard by 2015.
The current minimum income standard for a single pensioner is £12,623, rising to £23,992 for a single parent with two children and £24,643 for a couple with one child.
Tax and welfare changes, including tax credit cuts, the VAT rise and the increase in the personal allowance, will push 460,000 more children below the breadline.
And another 170,000 children will fall below the minimum income standard because of slower than predicted wage growth, while pay freezes and pay caps for public-sector workers will push 80,000 more children into hardship.
The research revealed that an extra one million families will be living below the minimum income standard by 2015, compared with where they would have been under the policies before the Tories came to power.
The majority (54.4 per cent) of children will be living below the standard in two years time, it is claimed.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady highlighted that families were suffering the tightest squeeze in their living standards in nearly a century.
She said that government policies were “making life even more miserable for millions of low to middle-income families through tax increases and cuts in benefits and tax credits.”
The research was published before a TUC-organised rally at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster between 6-8pm this evening, in which various union leaders and campaigners will urge the Chancellor to deliver a Budget next week that prioritises jobs, growth and families.
Speakers at the event will include Frances O’Grady, Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb, Child Poverty Action Group chief executive Alison Garnham and Labour Party deputy leader Harriet Harman MP.