Government department attempts to justify poverty - and fails
Twitter users have slammed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for saying work is the best way out of poverty.
The government department was responding to new figures showing that a further 100,000 children have been pushed below the breadline, rising from 4 million to 4.1 million.
This week, the BBC reported that “the number of children living in relative poverty in the UK has risen to 4.1m”. Over the past year, 100,000 more children have been living in poverty.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) responded:
Referring to the roll-out of Universal Credit, which merged six current benefits and tax credits into one, the DWP said: “Universal Credit has a strong focus on families, allowing working parents to claim back up to 85% of childcare costs.
“We also offer parents tailored support to move into work that fits around their caring responsibilities.”
However official data reveals that the majority of children in poverty (around 67%) come from households where at least one person is already in work.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation published a report in 2016 showing that one in eight UK workers live in poverty.
The DWP says “an extra 3 million people have entered the workforce since 2010”. But tthe UK population has also increased by over three million since 2010. And Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that unemployment is rising quickly. Currently, 1.47 million people are officially jobless.
Paul Treloar stated: “In work poverty continues to rise yet you continue to spread misinformation. Appalling.”
And David Brean tweeted: "Employment rates have been good since 2010, and yet child poverty is increasing. Evidently employment is *not* a good way out of poverty. So why do you say it is?"