Action for Children responds to the Spring Budget 2023

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said:

‘Today’s Budget has gone some way but not far enough to help the parents of the almost two million UK children on the breadline we’ve identified who still face enormous obstacles to working their way out of hardship.

‘We hope this marks a shift in the government’s thinking that work is the route out of poverty to also now recognising there are very real structural barriers like disability and caring duties preventing people working, as our analysis shows.

‘While many parents from our services will welcome the childcare reforms, more will want the Chancellor to go further and faster to break down other barriers, and protect the living standards of those who can’t work or can’t work anymore than they do already.’

Action for Children’s February report ‘All worked out?’ shows that for low-income families where both parents or a single parent are already working full time, have long-term sickness, a disability or caring responsibilities, work is often not a route out of hardship.

The barriers to work for 1.95 million families identified in the analysis are:

  • 440,000 children in poverty despite their parent(s) already working full-time.
  • An additional 641,000 children are in poverty where at least one parent is disabled
  • A further 232,000 children are in poverty where at least one child is disabled
  • An extra 500,000 children are in poverty where there is at least one child aged 2 or under
  • A further 137,000 children in single-parent families in poverty where the parent is already working part-time with a child aged 3-10

Action for Children is calling on the Government to:

  • raise the Child Element of Universal Credit by at least £15 a week, and
  • abolish the Benefit Cap to lift nearly 320,000 children out of poverty.

Both reforms together would cost the government an estimated £4 billion a year.

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Huw Beale, Senior Media Officer, Action for Children:

07718 114 038 / [email protected]

Out of hours: 020 3124 0661 / [email protected]


  • 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 447 services across the UK, in schools and online, in 2021/22 we helped 671,275 children, young people and families.