The DWP has been accused of ‘spreading misinformation’ about child poverty

Department for Work and Pensions Logo DWP
Sam Woolfe

The BBC reported that “the number of children living in relative poverty in the UK has risen to 4.1m”. Over the past year, 100,000 more children have been living in poverty. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) responded:

Yet many Twitter users were not convinced by the explanation.

‘Spreading misinformation’

One user pointed out:

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation published a report in 2016 showing that one in eight UK workers live in poverty.

The DWP says “an extra 3 million people have entered the workforce since 2010”. But this isn’t as positive as it sounds. The UK population has also increased by over three million since 2010. And Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that unemployment is rising quickly. Currently, 1.47 million people are officially jobless.

Another Twitter user said:

As The Canary previously reported, the number of children living in jobless households has fallen since the Conservatives came into power. The DWP boasted that these “figures confirm that work is the best route out of poverty”. But poverty has other causes and solutions.

The DWP’s role in child poverty

The Canary recently reported that the DWP “won its appeal to maintain the benefit cap on single parents with children under two years old”. This benefit cap is fuelling child poverty. Poor single parent families are hit the hardest. Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate said it means children miss out on basic necessities like food and clothing. She added:

It is a cruel, unnecessary, and ineffective way of achieving what the government claims is its aim of getting people into work.

The Child Poverty Action Group has said that cuts to Universal Credit mean that a million more children will be living in poverty by 2022. So while the DWP claims to be solving the issue of child poverty, it’s actually making it a whole lot worse.

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– Read more articles from The Canary on child poverty.

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