Benefit cuts will aid social mobility, government claims
The government has unveiled a new child poverty strategy which claims reforms to housing benefit and social housing will increase social mobility.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg yesterday launched a document which includes plans for a child poverty and social mobility commission, headed by former Labour MP Alan Milburn.
The commission will monitor how effective the government is at reducing child poverty and increasing social mobility.
The strategy named cuts to housing benefit and reforms to social housing as key steps towards encouraging social mobility. It said: ‘A key focus of these reforms is to remove the barrier to work that has been created by families being able to live in more expensive properties when claiming benefit than they would otherwise be able to afford.’
It also said that the government plans to outline its overall housing strategy in the summer. The document said this would include ‘how we are supporting an increase in the supply and quality of new private and social housing to help those seeking a home of their own, whether to rent or buy.’
Charities said the aims of the strategy were severely undermined by the government’s programme of cuts. Helen Dent, chief executive of Family Action, said: ‘While we welcome the emphasis on early years as a step towards addressing social mobility and child poverty, sure start cuts and welfare and tax changes coming in tomorrow will put a huge strain on disadvantaged families, particularly those with babies and young children.
‘Some babies will literally be born broke as a result of measures this government has introduced.’