Living standards growth lowest in 60 years
CAMPAIGNERS have spoken out on against UK Government austerity after an Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) report revealed that almost one in three children in the UK would live in poverty by 2022 due to welfare and other cuts.
The IFS report predicted that child poverty rates would approach 30 per cent by 2022, and that growth in living standards has fallen to a 60 year low. The report pointed to UK Government austerity policies as the reason for the collapsing prospects for living standards.
The analysis comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond demanded government departments find another 6 per cent
John Dickie of the Child Poverty Action group Scotland said: “It’s children that are being harder hit by austerity policies.
“Welfare is being cut for people both in and out of work, while at the same time there is tax relief for the wealthiest.
“There is nothing inevitable about this situation, government policy is creating it. We urge the UK Government to reverse these cuts, and also call on the Scottish Government to do what it can to alleviate child poverty.
“If the Scottish Government were to top up child benefit by £5 a week for instance, around 30,000 children could be lifted out of poverty.”
The report comes amid mounting evidence of declining living standards due to ongoing austerity and weak economic growth.
According to the TUC, wages have fallen by 10.4 percent since 2007, the sharpest decline in pay since the nineteenth century. The UK is the only major European economy to see wages continue to decline during the economic recovery.
Responding to the report, SNP MSP Sandra White said: “The SNP are absolutely committed to tackling the deep-rooted causes of child poverty, and will introduce ambitious targets to reduce poverty rates – after the Tories shamefully scrapped the UK-wide legal targets.
“But that mission to reduce child poverty becomes harder in the face of continued Tory austerity – we’re already spending £100m a year to mitigate welfare cuts which we’d prefer to spend tackling poverty at its root.
“The last thing that struggling families need is further Tory austerity and cuts to their income. The austerity-obsessed Tories clearly think they can get away with doing what they want to Scotland.”
CommonSpace contacted the Treasury for comment on the IFS report, but they did not respond by time of publication.
Picture courtesy of William Warby
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