Numbers of ‘disadvantaged’ Redbridge families will rise after benefits change, say charities

Children’s charities predict the numbers of disadvantaged families in Redbridge will rise “dramatically” over the next few years.

A report by Action for Children, the NSPCC and The Children’s Society calculated that the numbers of “vulnerable” families would rise from 540 in 2010 to 610 by 2015 – including 1,500 children.

Families are classified as vulnerable if they meet four or more government criteria including unemployment, depression, overcrowded housing and poverty.

The trio of charities suggested the data demonstrated the impact of changes to tax and benefits and spending cuts.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes thinks there could be far-reaching consequences for Redbridge.

The Labour MP said: “I think we are going to get people forced out of their accommodation in inner London moving to the outer boroughs like Redbridge where prices are cheaper.”

Emma Horne, from Action for Children, said the government must protect London children from austerity measures.

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She added: “This report is a stark wake-up call that tomorrow’s generation of parents are not being cared for today.

“Through our frontline services we are already witnessing the damaging effects on the most vulnerable families across the country.”

But a Department of Work and Pensions spokesman said families were “systematically failed” by the previous government’s system.

He added: “We now have five million people trapped on out-of-work benefits and almost two million children growing up in workless households - robbing people of the chance to improve their lives.

“Only by reforming the welfare system and breaking the cycle of worklessness and dependency will we improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities.”

The Government plans to introduce the new Universal Credit benefit, which they claim will “lift 350,000 children and 550,000 adults out of poverty”.

Mr Gapes said: “The Universal Credit has not yet been implemented and there will be issues of concern when it is.”