By Just Fair

CPAG’s ‘Cost of Child’ report released today shows that many families still cannot afford a basic standard of living due to rising prices and welfare and tax reforms.

The UK Government must restore the link between the rates of state benefits and the cost of living to make sure that social benefits guarantee an adequate standard of living.

This was one of the 60 recommendations made by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights two years ago, but the government continues to turn a blind eye.

Child Poverty Action Group found that child benefit barely covers a fifth of the cost of a child for a couple, and less than a sixth of the cost for a lone parent. Families on benefits now have to live without 40% of the budget that they need for a social accepted minimum standard of living.

Employment is no longer a guarantee for ensuring an adequate standard of living. Parents who both work full time on the national living wage still face a shortfall of 11% and single parents face a shortfall of 20%.

The UN Committee also called on the government to provide disaggregated data on how reforms to social security have impacted upon certain groups such as children or women. This year a cumulative impact assessment by the Equality and Human Rights Commission of recent tax and welfare reforms found that over one and a half million additional children will find themselves under the poverty line as a direct result of the recent reforms.

The sixth world economy simply cannot afford child poverty. In light of international human rights law the government must take action to ensure that wages and welfare payments are sufficient so as to ensure that families are able to achieve an adequate standard of living.

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