CSAN on Spending Review: 'conditions for perfect storm'


George Osborne

George Osborne

Commenting on today's Comprehensive Spending Review, released by Chancellor George Osborne today, Helen O'Brien, Chief Executive of CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network), said: "As CSAN found in 'Caritas Reports: The Impact of Welfare Changes', it is not the changes to individual aspects of the welfare system, but the multiplicity of the cuts which has made life more difficult for vulnerable families, young people and those earning less than the Living Wage.

"We are pleased that the planned cuts to Tax Credits, which offer some protection to working families, have been reversed.

"We do remain concerned, however, about the two-child limit for Child Tax Credits. We fear that the most vulnerable children from larger families, who face urgent problems such as bereavement or job loss causing financial difficulties, will be most seriously affected."

Martin Houghton-Brown, CEO of youth homelessness charity and CSAN member, Depaul UK, said: "I fear that the conditions for a "perfect storm" are continuing to grow as cuts to Local Authority funding, especially in youth services, cuts to Housing Benefit for under 21's and an increasingly weak social housing sector combine. This could be particularly pertinent for local authorities in less affluent areas, who may not benefit as much from the devolution of business rates and whose council taxes cannot offset central government cuts. Young people facing homelessness may soon have no shelter in the storm.

"As the Joseph Rowntree's annual picture of poverty in the UK published this week signals, young people today are now facing a worse set of circumstances in which to live, work and raise a family than the previous generation.

"I fear today's announcement will only make their life all the more difficult and our work at Depaul more vital."

For more information on CSAN see: www.csan.org.uk

Read more about Depaul UK here: www.depauluk.org/

Caritas Reports: The Impact of Welfare Changes report, which includes stories from Nugent Care in Liverpool, Brushstrokes Centre in Birmingham and Caritas Anchor House in east London, found that the welfare changes of the past five years and the delivery of those changes are pushing vulnerable people and support staff to the edge of their capacity. See: www.csan.org.uk/newsarticle/caritas-reports-impact-welfare-changes/#.VlMf0tLhCUk

CSAN have prepared briefings on the impact the two child limit will have on larger families. These can be read at the following links: www.csan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Joint-faith-group-briefing-on-two-child-limit-FINAL5.pdf & www.csan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CSAN-House-of-Lords-Welfare-Reform-and-Work-Bill-briefing1.pdf

The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned the cuts between 2010 and 2020 will be the deepest ever seen and will reduce the overall size of state spending to its lowest level since the War: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/spending-review/12009574/Spending-Review-IFS-warns-of-deepest-cuts-in-history.html

Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Monitoring Poverty and Exclusion Report can be read here: www.jrf.org.uk/report/monitoring-poverty-and-social-exclusion-scotland-2015

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