Efforts to tackle child poverty and low incomes in Wales are “harmed” by UK Government changes to benefits and taxes, according to report .
According to estimates in the report, 50,000 more children in Wales could be in poverty within three years.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) looked at the potential impact of the changes since 2010 .
The Welsh Government's Children's Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies, warned he could lead to “significant hardship”.
'A smaller impact in Wales'
“The Welsh Government's efforts to tackle child poverty and improve the lives of low-income families is being harmed by the UK Government welfare and tax reform package, “said the report.
” Specifically, changes to the benefits system such as freezing the working age benefit rates, changes to benefit, disability benefits, and reducing the Cash Credit rates wysol. “
The EHRC report examined British data from the Family Resources Survey and the Food and Living Costs Survey, with the analysis being carried out by Landman Economics and Aubergine Analysis.
According to their assumptions:
- Homes in Wales with at least three children will lose more than £ 900 per annum by 2021-22, due to the limit of two children placed on a number of benefits in 2017;
- 20,000 more homes – and 50,000 more children in Wales – may be in relative poverty following the reforms;
- They predict that child poverty will increase from around 8% in Scotland and Wales, compared to almost 11% in England;
- Those in the worst poorest poorer income group, with a suggestion that homes in Wales could lose over £ 1,000 per annum.
Poorer families in England will lose more than those in Scotland and Wales, says the report, as there are rushes Wales and Scotland have introduced policies to try to reduce the impact of benefits and tax credits.
Both governments have also introduced measures to help people on low incomes cope with the reduction in council tax relief .
Another reason is that rent tends to be higher in England, and so the housing benefit restrictions have had a bigger impact there.
The report also says that disabled people and single parents in Wales will be more affected, and across the UK single parents will see a fall of 29% per annum in their income by 2021-22.
At present it is believed that there were around 200,000 children living in poverty in Wales.
The Welsh Government had promised to abolish child poverty by 2020, but they admitted in 2016 that it would not be possible.
“We have called on the UK Government to take urgent action in relation to these policies, which will cause significant hardship, “she says Mr Irranca-Davies.
“It is essential that these policies are urgently reviewed and that equality impact assessments are being carried out to protect the welfare of those who are most vulnerable”
A UK Government spokeswoman said: “The latest figures show that the number of children living in real poverty in Wales has fallen by 100,000 over the past seven years.
” We are know that there is more to be done to ensure that every child gets the best chance in life, and our welfare reforms offer tailored support to parents to help them get work, which is the best way out of poverty .
We spend £ 90 billion a year on a lease to help those who need it most and this report does not take into account many of the important changes the government has introduced since 2010 .
“The EHRC itself acknowledges in their report that the impact of some policies has been overstated, which would lead to a higher projection of poverty.”