CSAN and House of Lords welfare reform and Work Bill briefing

The Welfare Reform and Work Bill makes significant amendments to the Child Poverty Act as well as implementing some measures announced in the Chancellor’s July 8 Budget. CSAN has concerns regarding the impact these measures will have on low-income and working families. The second reading of the Bill will take place in the House of Lords on the 17 November. Amendments to child poverty targets (Clauses 4-6) Clauses 4-6 of the Bill will see the Child Poverty Act 2010 renamed the “Life Chances Act”.

Child Poverty Act

This part of the Bill will also make significant amendments to the Child Poverty Act 2010, including removing the income related targets and replacing them with “new measures to improve the life chances of children”. The four UK wide targets, along with the definitions of the related measures, will be removed. These are: Relative low income, combined low income and material deprivation, absolute low income and persistent poverty. Instead, the Bill will require the Secretary of State to report and publish data on:

  • Children living in workless households in England
  • Children living in long-term workless households in England
  • The educational attainment of children in England at the end of Key Stage 4
  • The educational attainment of disadvantaged children in England at the end of Key Stage 4

CSAN is particularly concerned with the removal of income related measures for measuring child poverty. Whilst we support the notion that poverty is a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted phenomenon which is not based on income alone, the primary defining factor of poverty is a lack of financial resources. Any further additions to measuring child poverty should supplement, not replace income related measures.

Read the rest in CSAN House of Lords Welfare Reform and Work Bill briefing