Wales’ Children’s Commissioner calls on UK Government to abandon the scrapping £20 Universal Credit uplift
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has joined counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland and called for the UK Government to abandon scrapping the £20 Universal Credit uplift
All three have also called on the UK Government to end its two-child limit on Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit warning that the policy continues to violate children’s human rights.
The proposed cut to the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift – given to help struggling families during the pandemic – will hit around 1 in 7 people in Flintshire.
As it stands, the UK Government is set to slash benefits by £20 a week – equivalent to £1,040 a year – from 6 October.
The exact date people will see the cut kick in will depend on the day they get their Universal Credit payment.
The UK Government said the move to stop the £20 Universal Credit uplift been made as there needs to be a shift to getting people back to work however, the cut will impact many working families.
The three Children’s Commissioners have urged UK Government to abandon the scrapping of the £20 uplift, “which would compound the poverty issues facing children across the nations, and urge the prioritisation of children’s rights in any further changes to Universal Credit.”
The Commissioners – Bruce Adamson for Scotland, Sally Holland for Wales, and Koulla Yiasouma for Northern Ireland – “remain concerned that UK benefit rules prevent devolved governments from fully tackling child poverty.”
Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland said: “We remain deeply concerned that the two-child policy and the scrapping of the £20 uplift breaches children’s rights to an adequate standard of living and is contributing to a rising gap in poverty levels between families with three or more children and smaller households.”
“The two-child limit in particular has a disproportionate impact on social groups where larger families are more common, such as some minority faith and ethnic groups and in Northern Ireland where families are larger than the rest of the UK.”
Sally Holland said: “Child poverty in the UK was already a significant human rights issue and the pandemic has only made things worse.”
“The UN Expert on poverty has been clear that child poverty in the UK is the result of political decisions and we urge the UK Government to reverse the discriminatory Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit policies.”
“Children are hungry and living in sub-standard housing in the UK in 2021 and that is a disgrace. ”
“Poverty affects every aspect of a child’s life, from their health – both physical and mental – to their education.”
“How can a child concentrate properly at school and learn if they are hungry? ”
“The State has an obligation to children and every child has the right to an adequate standard of living.”
“Families have a right to social security. These polices are a clear breach of children’s human rights.”
In May, the Children’s Commissioners of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland wrote an open letter to the Right Honourable Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, calling for an end to the two-child limit of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit and for the £20 uplift in universal credit amounts to be maintained.
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