Action for Children responds to new Joseph Rowntree Foundation report 'UK Poverty 2022'

Tuesday 18 January 2022
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‘Low-income families are enduring a miserable winter… Before this crisis becomes a catastrophe, ministers need to take urgent targeted action’

Director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, Imran Hussain, said: ‘Low-income families are enduring a miserable winter of cuts to Universal Credit, soaring energy bills and the prospect of yet more price rises. Families with children are among the hardest hit by this crisis as they typically face bigger bills, have smaller savings and are less able to take on extra work.

‘Living in fuel-poor homes is linked to a higher risk of physical and mental health problems in children and can negatively affect their development¹. Families that struggle to pay their bills can quickly find themselves in problem debt, which can be difficult to escape and is known to have a damaging impact on children’s well-being².

‘It’s been clear from our services for many years that more and more families have been falling into deep poverty. The government has been in denial about high and rising child poverty and simply doesn’t have a strategy to tackle it.

‘Before this crisis becomes a catastrophe, ministers need to take urgent targeted action for these families. The best way to help low-income families with children is by increasing the child element of Universal Credit and bringing the value of benefits up in line with the rise in inflation.’



Huw Beale, Action for Children – 07718 114 038 / [email protected]

Out of hours – 07802 806 679 / [email protected]


  1. Table 20 -Fuel poverty detailed tables 2021 - GOV.UK
  2. Marmot Reviews Team (2011) ‘The Health Impacts of Cold Homes and Fuel Poverty”
  3. The Children’s Society (2016) ‘The Damage of Debt: the impact of money worries on children’s mental health’

Action for Children protects and supports vulnerable children and young people by providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. With 512 services across the UK, in schools and online, in 2020/21 we helped 604,885 children, young people and families.