Rise in number of UK children in relative poverty prompts extension of “new deal for families” pilots

    A “new deal for families” pilot project was announced by the government today, as new figures showed a 100,000 rise in the number of children living in relative poverty.

    The number of children living below 60 per cent of average household income rose from 2.7m to 2.8m last year, according to government statistics also published today.

    The new deal pilots will involve an extension of the support available in the new deal for lone parents plus pilot areas to all families with children in those areas.

    The pilots are part of a £150m package of measures to improve support to parents, including a widening of the in-work credit scheme, which provides additional financial support for lone parents as they make the transition to work.

    Minister of state for employment and welfare reform Jim Murphy said the majority of the rise in relative child poverty “appears to be accounted for by a rise in the number of self-employed households in poverty, whose incomes are recorded with considerable error.”

    But children’s charity Barnardo’s called the increase a “moral disgrace”.

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