Whist there is understandably some relief at the government finally responding to the cost of living crisis, we are far from solving the problem. The Director of the North East Child Poverty Commission has responded to the new package of cost of living measures announced by the Chancellor today.
Amanda Bailey, Director of the North East Child Poverty Commission said:
“Families across the North East will be relieved the government has today recognised the urgency of the cost of living crisis, and the need to act now rather than keep waiting until the Autumn.
“It’s been clear for some time – with huge increases in demand for food banks, debt advice and other support services throughout the region – that growing numbers of families were seriously struggling to keep their heads above water.
“Importantly, the majority of support announced today will be targeted at those on the lowest incomes who are at the very sharpest end of soaring household bills. The decision to deliver most of these measures as cash payments directly to families is also welcome, as the most dignified way of providing targeted support. However, the flat rate of support provided to households completely fails to recognise the additional costs of having children.
“And, whilst this has dealt with the immediate crisis facing families, the reality is that almost two in five children across our region were growing up in poverty even before we went into the pandemic, with families struggling to make ends meet well before Covid and the current cost of living crisis. This has left people with absolutely no financial buffer to cope with financial shocks, and it is time to fundamentally rethink the level of support families with children receive.”