The Government’s impact assessment in respect of their benefits cuts has revealed that the benefits cuts will affect around 330,000 children and will result in affected families being worse off by an estimated Â£63 per week. A leaked DWP memo suggests that 40,000 more children will plunge below the poverty line as a result of the cuts.
So what does this mean for affected families? Single mothers are going to be the hardest hit group. It is estimated that 100,000 households will be threatened with homelessness and poverty as a result of the cuts. There is a danger when putting parents in such situations that they will take drastic measures to provide for their children and their families. There may be an increase in parental crime in order to make money to support the family. Alternatively there may be an increase in homeless children and families which will place a greater burden on already stretched Local Authority housing departments. Surely the Government is being somewhat short sighted in making these cuts, knowing that families will be faced with homelessness but failing to take account of the knock on effect on other services?
As representatives of parents in care proceedings we often come across parents who have engaged in criminal behaviour for a variety of reasons. Parents may find themselves in care proceedings and risk losing their children if they are incarcerated due to criminal behaviour resulting from the desperation of their situation.
The Government appears to have lost sight of children and their best interests in their desire to save money. The Government is also considering repealing child poverty laws that set binding targets on the Government to reduce child poverty. Is this just another example of how far down the agenda children are slipping for this Government?
We understand that if you are affected by the benefits cuts you wonâ€™t be in a position to pay for legal representation. At Burd Ward we are able to offer legal aid so if you will be threatened with homelessness as a result of the benefit cuts or are involved in care proceedings regarding your children please contact us 0151 639 8273 for specialist advice.