Even with the change in government last year, the Brexit, and the potential break-up of the United Kingdom as we know it, the central government is still on track to cut £12 billion of social spending from the budget during 2017. The cutbacks, which were approved by the Tories, are targeting the schemes and programmes that help families on a low income as well as people that are living in poverty.
This £12 billion is in addition to the cutbacks that were already made in 2015 and 2016. That is the period in which welfare schemes from councils were The amount of money being spent on the programmes that help the poorest among us has been, and will continue to be, greatly reduced this year and yet to come. Some experts are warning that this will lead to more children living in poverty, hunger, and homelessness across the UK. Some data.
- -One leading organisation, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) projects children living in poverty will increase by 900,000 (25%) to a total of 5.1 million by 2020.
- -Shelter, a leading homeless prevention charity, attributes housing cuts leading to an increase of homelessness by over 50,000 over the last 2 years.
- -Trussell Trust shows food bank usage increasing by 5 to 10% in 2016, and many charities are stepping out to meet this challenge by opening food banks.
Those are only a few examples, and the number of families on a low income that may be evicted, go hungry, be at risk health-wise, or lose their electricity is bound to increase. The disabled will also be hit hard, as disability benefits are also being targeted, as they will have in total £37 billion in cuts when all is said and done.
Where are cuts occurring?
There are a few welfare schemes where the £12 billion in cuts are scheduled to take place in 2017. While the new government lead by Ms. May may adjust some of these figures, or lessen the reduction, there has been no indicated to date of this happening.
From 2015 to when the cuts are completed later this decade, it is projected that disability and incapacity benefits will be cut by a total £37 billion. This is bound to hurt maybe the most vulnerable. People with a physical or mental disability are often unable to work, or at least are limited in hours. If they have their benefits cut then the result may be dramatic.
The Universal Credit scheme will be made less generous. As much as £5 billion will be cut from this. This new government welfare scheme, which is meant to replace several other benefits, is that many people that live in poverty rely on while they work to increase their stability. Cutbacks to this programme will cause many claimants to struggle to keep up with paying their bills.
Housing benefits, which assist with rent payments, will be cut. People under the age of 21 will not be able to apply, and the total benefit cap will be reduced to £20,000 (or £23,000 in London). This will cause more families to struggle to keep up with their housing, which in places places in the UK is some of the most expensive in the world and Europe. Many of them may turn to charities for rent help.
The reductions of £12 billion from welfare that will take place in 2017 (and in future years) will put more pressure on charities and other not for profits. Many of these groups try to feed the poor and children, or they offer free advice, financial help, and more. If the central government proceeds with these social security reductions it will cause more people to turn to charities. Whether they can meet the demand is yet to be seen, but we have many of the places to try listed on on website.