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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 April 2017

Fight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty

Tory policies pushed 200,000 more kids into poverty in 2015 too, photo Bridget Coila (Creative Commons)

Tory policies pushed 200,000 more kids into poverty in 2015 too, photo Bridget Coila (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Sue Powell, Gloucestershire Socialist Party

Do you know what "I've had mine already" means?

Last year, up to half of mums under 25 skipped meals to feed their kids; two-thirds struggled financially; one in four resorted to food banks - says a Young Women's Trust survey.

Now, a raft of callous Tory measures starting on 6 April will push another 200,000 kids below the breadline, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

20% of households are already deprived, with the Department for Work and Pensions counting 3.9 million children living in poverty in 2015. This was itself an increase of 200,000 on the previous year.

Even bereaved families face a benefits cap, reducing payment to a maximum 18 months. Imagine you're terminally ill and discover that if you don't die this week, your loved ones will receive substantially less support.

New rules mean parents on the 'Universal Credit' benefit system are expected to work when their youngest child turns three, and one million families will have their benefits limited to two children. A family with a child born on 5 April could be £50,000 better off than if their baby was delivered a day later.

New parents will be excluded from tax credit. New disabled claimants will receive only £73 a week 'employment supplement allowance' - down from £102.

These measures are supposed to 'encourage responsibility' and 'incentivise work' but won't deliver suitable jobs or childcare. In fact, families getting Universal Credit, tax credits or workplace childcare are excluded from a tax-free childcare scheme which could save them up to £2,000 a year per child.

Councils continue to axe vital services and increase council taxes instead of mobilising coordinated opposition. So we face a double whammy of up to 5% more council tax - for fewer services. And 18 to 21-year-olds are excluded from housing benefit.

These vicious attacks simply spell more personal debt, council tax arrears, sanctions, evictions and homelessness.

Working class lives could be transformed with a £10 hourly minimum wage without exemptions, more council housing, a rent cap, fully funded public services and decent jobs for all. Nationalise the banks and top corporations - let's plan that wealth to provide for all.

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In The Socialist 5 April 2017:


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Socialist Party news and analysis

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Related links:

Child poverty:

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

triangle250,000 families in "non-decent" homes

triangleWorking families £50 a week short of paying for kids

triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

Tories:

triangleFight for a general election to kick out the Tories

triangleAusterity: not one more day - Tories out now

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Brexit - Will the Tories survive?

triangleScrap the Tories' Universal Credit now!

Poverty:

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

triangleWonderful socialist play finds Edwardian poverty not in past

triangleEven UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

Cuts:

triangleNorthamptonshire council crisis continues

triangleSocialist Party argues against fire service cuts at Tyne and Wear consultation

Tax:

triangleFrance: mass demonstrations force president to back down

Council:

triangleLeeds TUC conference to organise fight against austerity

Government:

triangleWorkers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran

Childcare:

triangleThem & Us

Universal Credit:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Council tax:

triangleHaringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts

Parents:

triangleGrimethorpe dinner ladies stage all-out strike against redundancy

Children:

triangle75,000 kids in foster care - and counting: end cuts and for-profit care

Banks:

triangle10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis

Benefits:

triangleNat West's benefit-claimant eviction policy

Housing benefit:

triangleHousing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

Tax credits:

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

Households:

triangleThe Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!

Minimum wage:

triangleSave the high street: public ownership, not ghost malls

Food Banks:

triangleUniversal credit causes £24m rent arrears

Family:

triangleIn defence of socialist feminism

Evictions:

triangleHomelessness, Universal Credit misery, high rents, cramped flats, isolated estates...end the housing crisis!

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