The new Chancellor’s statement on the government’s Medium-Term Fiscal Plan offers no reassurance to those in our region who are struggling to afford the basics. The Chancellor must now put this right by confirming that he will raise benefits such as Universal Credit. This is essential for hundreds of thousands of families, and for children and young people in the North East which has the highest rate of child poverty in the country.
Responding to the new Chancellor’s statement this morning on the government’s Medium-Term Fiscal Plan, Chair of the North East Child Poverty Commission, Anna Turley, said:
“The Chancellor spoke about the need to provide economic stability and certainty, but offered absolutely no reassurance on how he will deliver this for the growing number of families across the North East already struggling to afford the basics.
“Hundreds of thousands of low-income families across our region – most of whom are either in low-paid work or unable to work – still do not have the certainty that the vital support they receive through social security will rise in line with prices. And now they face the instability of yet another hike in their energy bills from April, on top of the astronomical increases in household costs we’ve seen over the last year.”
What needs to be done
“The Chancellor must begin to put this right by urgently confirming he will raise benefits like Universal Credit by inflation, otherwise hundreds of thousands of North East families face being cut completely adrift. It is just unimaginable that children and young people in the North East – which already has the highest rate of child poverty in the country – could be left to pay the price of the government’s economic incompetence.”