14 May 2024
Child Poverty

While there are 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty compared to 2009/10, the Government remains committed to reducing child poverty and supporting low-income families. The Government’s approach to tackling child poverty is based on clear evidence that parental employment substantially reduces the risk of poverty. 

To support parents into work, last year's Autumn Statement set out a significant, wide-ranging package of measures that represent an investment of £2.5 billion over five years to boost workforce participation and tackle economic inactivity. Alongside this, by September 2025, the Government will provide all working parents in England with 30 hours of free childcare per week, for 38 weeks of the year, from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school.

In recognition of the exceptional circumstances of the last two years, the Government has taken action to provide relief for those who need it most. Over 2022-23 and 2023-24, the Government has provided an unprecedented Cost of Living support package worth £96 billion, which included £20 billion for two rounds of Cost of Living Payments for over eight million households on eligible means-tested benefits, over six million people on eligible disability benefits, and over eight million pensioner households. 

Annual statistics on incomes and living standards show that the Government’s cost of living support prevented 1.3 million people from falling into absolute poverty after housing costs in 2022-23. That includes 300,000 children, 600,000 working-age adults and 400,000 pensioners.

Indeed, the Government is continuing to provide extra support to the most vulnerable. An additional £500 million of funding is being provided to enable the extension of the Household Support Fund in England to September 2024, bringing the total funding to £3 billion since October 2021. Moreover, the Government has supported the lowest paid with a 9.8 per cent rise in the National Living Wage to £11.44 per hour.