East Ham MP backs campaign for mums

East Ham MP Stephen Timms is backing a campaign to make sure a new benefit system supports mums to find work so they can provide for their children.

He has pledged his support for the Save the Children’s ‘Mums United’ campaign which focuses on the new Universal Credit benefit system.

It is designed to simplify the benefits system and continue the work of the previous Government to ensure that work pays better than benefits. However, on current government plans not all parents who want to work their way above the poverty line get the help they need. The proposed benefit changes and lack of support for childcare risk making it harder for some parents to move off benefits and into work. Many single mums and second earners in couples will be worse off under the new system.

Save the Children’s new ‘Mums United’ campaign is calling on the Treasury to find the extra money needed to make sure single mums keep more of their earned income before they lose benefits, and get support with childcare costs.

Female unemployment has recently topped one million, while mothers already struggling to support their children have suffered cuts to childcare support, child benefit and tax credits. A new poll by Save the Children and Netmums found that 56 per cent of mums said the main thing stopping them from taking a job or making them consider giving up work is the cost of childcare.

Mr Timms said: “Those mums in East Ham who want to work so they can provide for their kids should get help to do so. Getting more mums in the workplace is crucial to the fight against child poverty and to boosting the economy. This Tory-led government has got an awful record on female unemployment which is why I’ve signed up to this campaign to make work pay for the poorest mums in the Budget.”

Universal Credit, will begin to replace the current benefits and tax credit system from October 2013.