Welfare Benefits Uprating Act could push more into poverty
31 March 2013
The Government's own estimates suggest that 200,000 more children could be pushed into poverty by the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill (now Act). The Greens estimate that anything up to 2,000 of these could be in Oxfordshire (on the basis that Oxfordshire is home to approximate 1/100th of the UK's population).
Says Cllr Sanders: "These benefit cuts have nothing to do with getting people to work since most of those affected are already working. The Archbishop of Canterbury is right. Politicians have a duty to protect children from living in poverty. The Green Party accepts this duty. Will the other parties on the County Council?"
FMI: Cllr Larry Sanders 01865 244487
------------------------------------------------------------------TEXT OF MOTION PROPOSED BY GREEN COUNTY COUNCILLOR LARRY SANDERSMOTION FOR FULL COUNCIL 2 APRIL 2013
The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, if passed, will cap the increases of key benefits and tax credits for working-age families and their children at 1% a year for the next three years- well below expected rises in living costs.
The government estimates this will push 200,000 more children into poverty.The Bishop of Oxford joined over forty other Bishops of the Church of England in opposition to the Bill. Their letter said:“The change will hit the poorest the hardest… Children and families are already being hit hard by cuts to support, including those to tax credits, maternity benefits, and help with housing costs. They cannot afford this further hardship penalty.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury supported the Bishops, saying: “As a civilised society we have a duty to support those among us who are vulnerable and in need. When times are hard, that duty should be felt more than ever….Politicians have a clear choice. By protecting children from the effects of this bill, they can help fulfil their commitment to end child poverty.”
This Council asks the Leader to:
- thank the Bishops and Archbishop for their efforts to protect the children of Oxfordshire
- inform the people of Oxfordshire that we affirm our commitment to work to end child poverty
- inform the Government that we oppose the Bill
- establish a cross-party Working Group to investigate how the Council can use its powers to reduce child poverty in Oxfordshire.
Proposed by Cllr Larry Sanders