Alison Garnham's blog
The new £10 a week Scottish Child Payment for each child in low income families, announced by the Scottish Government last week, is a game-changer in the fight to end child poverty in Scotland - and a pointer to what is possible, and so badly needed, at UK level.
In a week when CPAG has published the brilliant new book Living hand to mouth – children and food in low income families by Rebecca O’Connell, Abigail Knight and Julia Brannen, it might seem strange to suggest that food is not the solution to hunger.
In the words of the Sergeant Pepper song, ’It was twenty years ago today…’, on 18 March 1999, that the British government pledged to be the first to end child poverty in a generation. By 2010, there were 1.1 million fewer children in poverty. We proved once and for all that child poverty is policy-responsive, that it can be cut, and we were half way to showing it could be eliminated. Half-way, that is, to the target to get down to 10 per cent - a target we were on track to achieve by March 2020.
At a recent meeting on women and poverty, I was asked to speak about universal credit (UC). It forced me to think about the ways in which UC is hugely problematic for women, particularly mothers. Eventually I concluded it was a case of discrimination by design. Here’s how it goes.
Six key points from 'The Austerity Generation: the impact of a decade of cuts on families with children'
Today, CPAG publishes a major new study on the impact of austerity on families with children: ‘The Austerity Generation: the impact of a decade of cuts on family incomes and child poverty‘.
This week we publish our latest Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook – indispensable for those advisers and frontline workers who need comprehensive, up-to-date information and, crucially, the relevant law to challenge decisions.
Today’s awful figures tells us several things. Child poverty is high. It’s rising – it’s jumped to 4 million. Two thirds of poor children come from working families. But perhaps the main lesson to take away is that we need to call time on the unfathomable Whitehall orthodoxy, driven by George Osborne but still in place under Theresa May, that rising child poverty is a price worth paying to protect our children.
David Cameron’s final words at PMQs today – “Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it” – bring to my mind one of his early speeches on poverty.