European Commission questions UK government’s welfare and housing policies

3 June 2014

The European Commission has called on the UK government to ensure its welfare reforms contribute to the reduction of child poverty in low-income households in a new report entitled “Building growth: Country-specific recommendations 2014.”

The wide-ranging report said that universal credit and other changes to the welfare system must “deliver adequate benefits by providing clear work incentives and support services,” and that improving the availability of affordable quality childcare, was central to this.

Additional concerns were raised about the housing market, and in particular the Help to Buy scheme, and property and land taxes.

In its summary response to the UK government’s overall approach, the commission said: “It has taken various policy measures to address youth unemployment, child care, welfare reform, financing of SMEs and its infrastructural needs. The authorities are implementing appropriate policies but need to remain vigilant to any challenges that may arise during implementation.”