Low income families need more support from the government
By Graham Whitham
At a time of great uncertainly for households up and down the country, GMPA has been supporting calls for the government to do more to protect families from poverty. This includes adding our support to calls from national charities, and through campaigns like the End Child Poverty and End Hunger UK.
A number of announcements over the last month or so will be helping some people. The government’s furlough scheme and increase in support through Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will help. The government has provided extra funding to councils to meet increased demand for support with paying council tax. April also sees the end of the benefits freeze, with benefits uprated by 1.7%.
Although welcome, these measures are unlikely to be enough to stop the pandemic pushing many households into financial hardship, either in the short or long-term. There are additional measures GMPA would like to see, and we will be adding our voice to national campaigns calling for changes which will include:
- Substantially increasing Child Benefit. This is the quickest and most efficient means of getting extra money into the pockets of families;
- Ending the two-child limit that restricts benefit payments to the first two children in the household;
- Scrapping the benefit cap that limits the total amount of support a household can receive through the
benefit system; and
- Providing extra funding towards council’s local welfare assistance schemes so that they can meet the extra demand for support over the coming weeks and months.