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The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that the income of the average household will remain flat for the next two years as the biggest slowdown in earnings growth for at least 60 years leaves millions of children in poverty. The think-tank predicts that the average household will be more than £5,000 a year worse off by early 2022 than would have been expected prior to the financial crash. Factors such as planned benefits cuts and the arrival of the universal credit will result in 900,000 more children being pushed into poverty across the UK within the next five years, taking the total to 5.1m by 2021-22. Patricia Gibson MP said: “Universal credit hits families with children the hardest. “A study by the Child Poverty Action Group and the Institute of Public Policy Research has shown that lone parent families will be on average £2,380 a year worse off, while families with two children lose £1,100 on average and those with three youngsters lose £2,540. “The widely respected Institute for Fiscal Studies is clear that further austerity will only widen and deepen poverty across the UK “UK Chancellor Philip Hammond must use next week’s Budget to make universal credit fit for families by reversing cuts to work allowances announced by the former chancellor George Osborne in 2015. “Universal credit was meant to improve incentives for taking a job while helping working families to improve their standard of living. However, cuts have shredded it and families with children will see the biggest fall in their income, widening inequality and entrenching poverty.”

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