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CPAG: Welfare changes ignore children - again

Welfare changes ignore children - again

Child Poverty Action Group asks 'where are the needs of children and their parents taken into account in these visionless 'reforms'?

CPAG spokesperson Dr Susan St John says the government continues to deny that caring for one's own children is work. Sending mothers with young children out to work so the state can subsidise someone else to care for their children makes very little social or economic sense.

"The changes announced so far are purely ideological and, as the Minister admitted yesterday, have no basis in research evidence. More importantly, the changes will do nothing to reduce child poverty, which is widely agreed to be at unacceptably high levels. The emphasis on jobs depends on suitable work being available. Yet even if part-time work of 15 hours is possible and available, sole parents with young children still miss out on work-based tax credits for their children of at least $60 a week.

Ironically pushing sole parents off benefits means that there will be more jobs in the for-profit childcare sector,  and more jobs for private providers of social services, but the government will have to pay for them. Is this the kind of jobs growth we need?

"Even worse, the 13,000 families caring for children aged fourteen or over will face a benefit cut if their parents are moved onto a Jobseeker Allowance. This includes many families in complex circumstances such as caring for older disabled children They already miss out on what other families get in tax credits Making them yet poorer and encouraging them to neglect their older children because it is legal is breathtaking.

"The government is consulting on how to protect vulnerable children on the one hand, while making life more precarious for thousands of others." said Dr St John.

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