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Welfare cuts will impact the poorest children, warn experts

14 October 2015

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The chancellor’s summer budget will have “serious implications” for child health, experts have warned.

Analysis has suggested that an extra 200,000 children will be in poverty by 2016 as a result of the changes, potentially rising to 600,000 once all the policy measures have taken effect. The Rowntree Foundation and the Resolution Foundation both carried out research into the policies.

Looking at their research, David Taylor-Robinson and colleagues at the University of Liverpool said that the welfare changes will have “serious implications for child health”, speaking in the BMJ this week.

Health outcomes for children and young people in the UK are already poor, he explained, largely due to our high rate of child poverty.

He added: “It is important to support parents in work through paid parental leave, flexible work schedules, living wages, and affordable high quality child care, but we also need to provide adequate welfare benefits,” they write. “We can invest now or pay more later for society’s failure to promote healthy development in the earliest years of life.”