Magazine article Public Finance

Welfare Bill Effect on Child Poverty Assessed

Magazine article Public Finance

Welfare Bill Effect on Child Poverty Assessed

Article excerpt

The government's impending Welfare Reform Bill will be scrutinised by disability rights experts to assess its impact on child poverty targets, a leading practitioner revealed this week.

Bert Massie, chair of the Disability Rights Commission, revealed on June 26 that he would oversee an assessment on the impact of the policy. This was to ensure that ministers do not publish proposals that just make the current system cheaper or easier to operate.

The study will be the first of its kind in Britain anil has been endorsed by Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton.

Massie told a parliamentary meeting of the Child Poverty Action Group that it was imperative that the welfare Bill, likely to be published by Hutton next week, added fresh impetus to ministers' plans to eradicate child poverty by 2020.

People with disabilities, including rising numbers of people with mental health conditions, are more likely to have children living in poverty, Massie said, because they are likely to experience barriers to employment, high living costs ami low-paid work. A quarter of all children still living in poverty have at least one disabled parent, a new CPAG study revealed.

Hutton's Bill is set to divide the UK's 2.6 million incapacity benefit claimants into two groups: those who have to undertake workrelated activity in return for state support and those who do not. …

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