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168,600 Welsh children in families having to rely on universal credit

New DWP figures out today show 168,600 children in Wales were in families on universal credit (UC) in August. 91,500 Welsh families with children were on UC and 45% of these had a child aged four or younger (see table below)

All families on UC lost £20 per week from last month’s cut to the benefit but only around half will recoup the loss through UC reforms announced in the Budget*.

With living costs rising, Child Poverty Action Group is calling for a restoration of the value of children’s benefits – including child benefit and the child allowances in universal credit and tax credits – to stop more children from being pulled into poverty. Child benefit alone has lost 25% of its value since 2010 as a result of freezes and below -inflation upratings.

Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said:

“Many Welsh families on universal credit will not be able to plug the gap left by the £20 cut which comes just as all families are facing big cost pressures. Children’s benefits are a minimum protection for kids but their value has been eroded by cuts and freezes – and child poverty is rising. Families need government support – and the best place to start is by increasing investment in children’s benefits.”

Today’s figures show 199,800 households in Wales are on UC. 46% of these are families with children, the large majority of which (80%) have one or two children.

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