Stephen Timms has pledged his support for the Save the Children’s ‘Mums United’ campaign to make sure the new Universal Credit benefit system supports mums in East Ham to find work so they can provide for their children.
Universal Credit is designed to simplify the benefits system and continue the work Labour did in ensuring that work pays better than benefits. However, on current government plans not all parents who want to work their way above the poverty line get the help they need. The proposed benefit changes and lack of support for childcare risk making it harder for some parents to move off benefits and into work. Many single mums and second earners in couples will be worse off under the new system.
Save the Children’s new ‘Mums United’ campaign is calling on the Treasury to find the extra money needed to make sure single mums keep more of their earned income before they lose benefits, and get support with childcare costs.
Female unemployment has recently topped 1m, while mothers already struggling to support their children have suffered cuts to childcare support, child benefit and tax credits. A new poll by Save the Children and Netmums found that 56% of mums said the main thing stopping them from taking a job or making them consider giving up work is the cost of childcare.
Speaking about the campaign, Mr Timms said: “Those mums in East Ham who want to work so they can provide for their kids should get help to do so. Getting more mums in the workplace is crucial to the fight against child poverty and to boosting the economy. This Tory-led government has got an awful record on female unemployment which is why I’ve signed up to this campaign to make work pay for the poorest mums in the Budget.”