Welfare Cap risks pushing 345,000 more children into poverty

New research commissioned by Save the Children following last week’s Budget shows that the welfare cap risks pushing as many as 345,000 more children into poverty in the next four years.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 - 3:03pm

The research, from Landman Economics, shows that the way the cap is being applied - for example ringfencing the pensions pot -  combined with pressures such as population growth and demographic shifts such as an aging population, will mean savings of £3bn need to be found. These savings will have to come disproportionately from working age benefits that parents rely on and will particularly affect children.

Save the Children’s Director of UK Poverty, Will Higham said, “Children have already paid the highest price in the recession. It is all well and good to look towards a recovery, but parties that vote in favour of the cap need to spell out urgently what provisions they will make to ensure that the poorest children do not get forgotten about and left behind. 

“Parties need to explain how they will work to improve wages and welfare to ensure that work pays. Otherwise, today’s vote will become a straitjacket, binding future governments from taking action to stem a rising tide of child poverty.”

“Parties voting for the cap should remember that poverty doesn’t just hurt childhoods, it can affect the rest of a child’s life. All too often poorer children do less well at school than their better off peers, and poverty becomes a cycle.” Mr Higham said.


Notes to editors:

  • Further details of the economic modelling and assumptions are available on request.
  • Save the Children has historically worked to provide support for families across the UK.  Our work reached 23,000 people last year.
  • We focus on ensuring that every child has a fair start in life. That means working to get every child reading at the end of primary school and ensuring that families of very young children have the support they need for a decent start in life.
    Based on analysis undertaken by Landman Economics on behalf of Save the Children, we project that the proposed cap on social security spending being voted on in Parliament today risks a further 345,000 children being pushed into poverty over the next four years.
  • Analysis of Family Resources Survey data undertaken by NatCen on behalf of Save the Children, finds that children in low income households consistently face worse outcomes and experiences than their better off peers. Save the Children’s ‘Change the story’ campaign discusses the disadvantage children face in respect of reading in particular.



For further information including interviews with spokespeople please contact Save the Children UK press office on +44(0)207 012 6841 or out of hours +447831 650 409 or email t.manners@savethechildren.org.uk