Budget a “huge disappointment” say child poverty campaigners – children get “less each week than cost of a pint of milk”

April 22, 2009

John Dickie, head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland today expressed “huge disappointment” at today’s Budget Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

"This Budget is a huge disappointment for the quarter of a million children still living in poverty across Scotland. The money targeted on children amounts to less each week than the cost of a pint of milk.”

"We have seen banks and businesses bailed out, but almost nothing for the families who are having financial crisis meetings around the kitchen table rather than the board room table. Scotland’s children, the most vulnerable victims of the recession, will see little in this Budget to help them.

“The Budget urgently needed to give targeted help to struggling families who will spend straight away and that would have given an immediate boost to the economy. Low income communities have also been denied the extra spending power that would have helped their local businesses stay afloat.”

"The Government is now unlikely to meet its target to halve child poverty by 2010. Without investing the £3billion in family incomes that the Campaign to End Child Poverty called for, millions of children across the UK will continue to face the unfair costs of social disadvantage, exclusion and poor health.

The investment in Jobcentre Plus was absolutely necessary. The Government must now let job centre staff focus these resources on jobseekers and young unemployed people by suspending the extra time demands and bureaucracy of the welfare reform programme."

Notes for editors

  • The £20 increase in the annual amount of the per-child element of child tax credit amounts to 38.4p per week for each child.
  • A pint of fresh semi-skimmed milk costs 45p in Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
  • Analysis commissioned by CPAG showed that investment in the incomes of the poorest families would have a positive economic impact of £1.60 for every pound spent.
  • Child Poverty Action Group’s manifesto, published in March 2009
  • For up-to-date background facts and stats on UK poverty, visit: www.cpag.org.uk/content/child-poverty-facts-and-figures
  • CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.
  • CPAG is one of over 150 member organisations of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goals of halving child poverty by 2010 and ending child poverty by 2020 are met.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

John Dickie Head of CPAG in Scotland on 07795 340 618 or 0141 552 3656