– Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Today’s Bill is bad news for people living in poverty, whether they’re in work or out of work. Clearly, there are difficult decisions to be taken by Government, but Ministers’ opportunistic rhetoric on this issue is disturbing. Allowing today’s Bill to be presented as a choice between the ‘deserving and ‘underserving poor’ is both morally and economically wrong.
As incomes fall and costs rise for people – whether they are in or out of work - we are at risk of entering a decade of destitution.
MPs have voted in favour of a proposed 1 per cent cap on raising benefits by a majority of 56. Ministers say the cap is needed because it is unfair that state handouts have been rising twice as fast as wages during recent years of austerity.