Holding answer received on 27 January 2020
The government is committed to delivering a sustainable long-term solution to poverty in all its forms and in all parts of the UK by building a strong economy and ensuring that the benefit system works with the tax system and the labour market to support employment and higher pay.
The evidence shows that full time work substantially reduces the risk of being in poverty. Universal Credit is designed to help people move into work faster, stay in work longer and spend more time looking to increase their earnings, provides more financial help with childcare costs and removes the 16-hour ‘cliff edge’ for those who are working. To help families keep more of what they earn we have delivered another rise in the National Living Wage, increasing a full-time worker’s annual pay by over £2,750 since its introduction, and by nearly £3,700 with the recently announced rise from this April, with our tax changes making basic rate tax payers over £1,200 better off from April 2019, compared with 2010.
In order to develop a better understanding of the drivers of food insecurity and identify which groups are most at risk we have introduced a new set of food security questions in the Family Resources Survey questionnaire from April 2019 onwards. This will enable us in the future to monitor the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity across the UK and for specific groups.