Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Is Austerity Over?

They said austerity was over. But is it?

The work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, said she could not give a definitive answer about whether the freeze on most working-age benefits and tax credits would continue beyond its initial four-year term.

She said: “I don’t think anybody should make any assumptions by default, but we’re looking very carefully right now on what we can do on benefits going forward from 2020. I can’t give you a definitive outcome on what we will do.”

The Resolution Foundation think-tank said the welfare freeze had cut the value of benefits by 6% in real terms since 2015, leaving the average poor couple with children £580 a year worse off.  It said the social security safety net was continuing to be eroded.

Adam Corlett, a senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “While the benefit freeze is over, its impact is here to stay. With children born today facing the highest risk of poverty in 60 years, it’s time the main parties rethought their approach to welfare and reprioritised their efforts towards supporting low- and middle-income families.”

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