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Children in poverty – No Recourse to Public Funds: Work and Pensions Committee publishes Government response to report

13 June 2022

The Work and Pensions Committee has published the Government response to its report on supporting children in poverty with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

The report highlighted the tough circumstances faced by children from some families living and working legally in the UK who have fallen on hard times, particularly during the pandemic, and who have NRPF because of their immigration status.

 The Committee called on the Government to cut the time families with children applying for indefinite leave to remain are subject to NRPF from ten to five years and recommended that parents receive Child Benefit where their children are British citizens.

The Government response confirms that there are no plans to shorten the maximum period of time spent subject to NRPF for families with children or extend Child Benefit to all British children.

The Committee also recommended that the Government provide additional support to local authorities in areas with large NRPF populations and consider removing discretionary welfare payments from the public funds definition used for NRPF purposes.

The response highlights the inclusion of NRPF families in the recently announced Energy Rebate Scheme, designed to help with rising energy prices. The Home Office has said it is reviewing the impacts of the NRPF policy and is exploring the use and delivery of local welfare payments. The Committee hopes to see more clarity for both families and local authorities. 

Chair's comments

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Rt Hon Sir Stephen Timms MP said:

“The extension earlier this year of free school meal entitlement was a step in the right direction, but further progress on supporting struggling families with NRPF now seems to have ground to a halt.

The Government’s reluctance to limit the wait for access to funds and extend Child Benefit means some young people from families living and working legally in the UK will continue to spend most of their childhood denied the safety net that is there for others.

We are pleased that NRPF families have been included in recent Government efforts to support people struggling with energy costs. The Government needs to do more to tackle the confusion over what councils can provide for such families.”

Further information

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