Today, 7 April 2020, we have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, together with more than 60 charities and children’s organisations, advice organisations, academics, unions and faith leaders, calling for a £10 per child weekly uplift in universal child benefit to help families through the COVID-19 crisis.
We welcome the steps taken by the UK Government so far to support household incomes during the pandemic but say low-income families across the UK need more help with meeting children’s needs and unexpected costs while schools are closed. The letter states:
“We are calling for emergency support for children to ensure all parents can cover the basic costs of raising their children in the face of reduced income and before the new income protection measures can take effect”, they urge.
“As child benefit reaches most families (12.7 million children receive it ) it offers an effective, fast and resilient way to get money to families through our existing infrastructure – families will get the help they need directly into their bank accounts to cover additional costs.”
The letter concludes by calling for “… swift action to strengthen the finances of families and to shield children from additional hardship is critical in such exceptionally difficult times”.
We will keep you updated on the government’s response, in the meantime, you can read the full letter below.