Ending the benefits freeze now


Charities are campaigning for the Chancellor to announce the end of the freeze on benefits and tax credits at the Spring Statement on Wednesday.

The benefits freeze has been in place since 2015 and as a result most benefits have not increased by a penny since then, despite inflation.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), over these last four years, the freeze has been the single largest biggest policy driver behind rising poverty.

Families are on average £340 a year worse off because of this policy, with some considerably worse off than others. By April 2020 this figure will have risen to £560 a year.

If the benefits freeze is continued even for one more year, it would have decreased the incomes of 27 million people, including 11 million children, and directly driven 400,000 people into poverty.

What if the freeze ended now?

If the Government were to end the freeze this April, over 3.2 million children living in low-income working families would benefit.

On top of this, more than nine in ten single parent families and more than eight in ten couple parent families will see their incomes rise.

Most importantly, ending the benefits freeze now will pull 200,000 people out of poverty.

Matthew Geer, Campaigns Manager, said:

“Social security is not a luxury, it is a necessity we face due to low wages, high rents and quickly rising living costs.

“Life is considerably more expensive than it was in 2015 and our benefit system must reflect this, or poverty rates will continue to grow.

“We urge the Chancellor to take the opportunity to end the benefits freeze now.”