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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

IPPR backs CPAG call for action on Universal Credit to lift 700,000 children from poverty

Commenting on the Child Poverty Action Group’s call for an overhaul of Universal Credit to make it fit for families and raise 700,000 children from poverty, Carys Roberts, IPPR chief economist and head of the IPPR Centre for Economic Justice, said:

"Unnecessary cuts to family benefits are pushing hundreds of thousands into poverty and severe poverty, as shown by IPPR’s analysis for CPAG.

“One of the original claims made for Universal Credit was that it would help reduce poverty in the UK. However, as this new research shows, the introduction of Universal Credit combined with extensive welfare cuts is expected to cause a big rise in child poverty.

"It is not acceptable that 4.1 million children are growing up in poverty in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The priority for our political leaders should therefore be to reverse existing cuts and significantly reform the now toxic Universal Credit policy.

"Immediate changes should include cutting the taper rate, increasing the child element and introducing a second earner work allowance."



1. The CPAG report, Universal Credit: What Needs to Change to Reduce Child Poverty and Make it It for Familes? is published on Wednesday June 5 and can be found here.

2. It includes analysis by IPPR which isolates the child poverty effects of a range of cuts to universal credit and family-related benefits since 2013. It shows how many children will move into poverty (and into severe poverty) as a result of these policies by the time universal credit is fully rolled out in 2023, and conversely how many children would be protected from poverty if they were reversed. IPPR ‘s findings are based on analysis of the 2016/17 Family Resources Survey using the IPPR tax-benefit model, with projections based on the 2019 Spring Statement.

3. IPPR is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.