Chancellor should use his chance to address root causes of period poverty

Commenting on news that the Chancellor is expected to use Wednesday’s Spring Statement to make sanitary products available for free in schools, JRF is urging him to take the opportunity to address the underlying causes of poverty.

Claire Ainsley, Executive Director for the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“The Chancellor is right to recognise that people going without essentials such as sanitary products is morally unacceptable, and the action expected in this week’s Spring Statement will help correct an injustice which causes distress for many ​women and girls. As well as addressing this injustice, it’s also vital that action is taken now ​on the root causes of poverty.

“​​On Wednesday the Chancellor must show the government is serious about tackling the root causes of poverty, and take the opportunity to end the benefits freeze, which is keeping many UK families locked in poverty. Social security should be providing an anchor for people in difficult times but almost all families with children are affected by the freeze on benefits and tax credits.

“If continued, the freeze would leave hard pressed families £560 a year worse off – the equivalent of three months food shopping for a low-income family. Wednesday’s Spring Statement is the Chancellor’s opportunity to show that despite the political context the Government is serious about tackling burning injustices in the UK – we would urge him to take it.”