CHILD POVERTY BILL: TARGETS NEEDED TO DRIVE ACTION

February 3, 2017

Commenting ahead of the second reading today of Dan Jarvis MP’s Private Member’s Bill - Child Poverty in the UK (Target for Reduction) Bill 2016-17 – which places a duty on the Secretary of State to meet four targets for child poverty by a target date (to be specified), Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group said: 

“Child poverty in the UK is starting to rise for the first time in almost a decade. And IFS projections suggest the rise will be sustained – such that 50% more kids will be under the poverty line by 2020. Yet we’re operating without binding targets to bring child poverty down because the Child Poverty Act was effectively repealed last year. By contrast, Scotland is in the process of introducing its own child poverty legislation including targets for the elimination of child poverty.

“Poverty is damaging children and their life chances and it’s on the rise. But without statutory poverty-reduction targets we’re limping along in our efforts to stop it. This Bill says we can do better. It says all Governments can and should be accountable on child poverty. They can and must report on what progress they make on child poverty. To do less – to throw away the opportunity to adopt targets that drive action - is to risk failing the next generation.

Note to editors: CPAG press contact: Jane Ahrends on 0207 812 5216 or 07816 909302