The British Transport Police has just become the first UK police force to launch a...read more
Ahead of the Autumn Statement, children’s organisations are calling for the Government to raise benefits in line with September’s inflation rate.
Child Poverty Action Group and organisations representing children’s doctors, school leaders and social workers are calling on the Chancellor to uprate benefits from April at least in line with September’s inflation rate to safeguard children’s wellbeing.
In advance of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the organisations say they are worried that benefits may not rise in April in line with September’s inflation rate as they usually do. In an open letter to the Chancellor, they warn that uprating by less than September’s CPI would mean an “unmanageable” real-terms income cut for many of the low-income families they work with, compromising children’s welfare.
They write: “With inflation still high, many of the low-income families we work with cannot afford to keep their children well-fed and sufficiently warm and are sliding into debt. Hunger, sub-optimal nutrition, cold and damp homes and fewer opportunities to access extra-curricular activities are jeopardising children’s health, learning and well-being.
“Uprating benefits below September’s inflation rate would mean an unmanageable real-terms income cut for these families, further compromising children’s welfare.”
Meanwhile, Ofsted has released data showing that the number of early years places fell by 17,800 in the last year.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: “The fact that early years places have dropped by 17,800 within the last year is incredibly concerning, especially given that we are just months away from the start of the early entitlement expansion.”