On Mother’s Day, Labour party warns 151,700 single mothers in the East of England are being hit by the benefit freeze

On Mother’s Day, the Labour party is warning that nearly two million single mothers will be hit by the Government’s decision to continue the benefit freeze.

New analysis by the House of Commons library, commissioned by Labour, has revealed that 1.9 million single mothers are affected by the Government’s benefit freeze – 151,700 of them in the East of England. Due to the freeze, a lone parent who is not in employment is around £900 a year worse off.

Labour is calling on the Government to end the benefit freeze immediately, which is the “single biggest cause of rising poverty” in the UK”.

In 2016, the Conservatives froze most working age benefits for four years, including Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Child Benefit.

According to the House of Commons library analysis, the benefit freeze means that:

  • A lone parent who is not in employment with one child is around £900 a year worse off and a parent with two children is just over £1,200 a year worse off, whether in the legacy system or the Universal Credit system;
  • A lone parent in employment with one child is £810 worse off in the legacy system and £895 worse off in the UC system;
  • A lone parent with two children who is in employment is nearly £1,000 worse off in the legacy system and £1,200 worse off in the UC system.

New Government figures published on Thursday revealed that 14 million people are locked in poverty in the UK, including 4.1 million children.

Jill Borcherds, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Stevenage, said:

“The benefit freeze is the single biggest cause of rising poverty, yet the Government is continuing to press on with this austerity policy for the fourth year.

“Mother’s Day should be a time of celebration for mums the East of England but today many will instead be struggling to make ends meet.

“Labour will end the benefit freeze and make tackling child poverty the priority it should be once again.”

Jill Borcherds
Jill Borcherds
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