Adequate standard of living / poverty – Government action

Government action

UK Government actions

  • In March 2020, the UK Government announced several temporary measures to address the coronavirus pandemic. These included:
  • In April 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) introduced new duties to prevent and relieve homelessness across England.
  • In April 2016, the UK Government introduced the National Living Wage for workers across the UK over the age of 25, this gave the lowest paid a salary rise of approximately £600 a year.
  • The National Living Wage has increased every year since 2016 and the latest rate (April 2020) was £8.72 per hour.
  • In March 2016, the Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) made the following changes to the social security system:
    • the benefit cap was reduced by 23% for families and 26% for single claimants (12% and 15% respectively in London)
    • the level of certain social security benefits and tax credits was frozen between 2016 and 2020
    • the entitlement to the child element of Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit was limited to a maximum of two children per household
    • binding targets to reduce child poverty in England by 2020 were removed

Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on adequate standard of living / poverty.

Welsh Government actions

Efforts to reduce poverty relate to both reserved and devolved matters. Whilst, social security, many taxes, and employment law are reserved to the UK Government, the Welsh Government has competence over poverty-related areas including housing, education, health, aspects of economic development, as well as having some limited tax-raising and borrowing powers.

 Read our assessment of the Welsh Government’s progress on adequate standard of living / poverty.

The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 15/09/2020