CPAG statement on PM's opportunity speech

June 22, 2015

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech on opportunity, Alison Garnham Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“Almost a decade ago, the Prime Minister spoke of poverty being a moral disgrace and an economic waste. That was right then and is right now. No road to opportunity starts with policies that may end leaving three million children in poverty. No moral mission involves taking away tax credits for our poorest children. No serious plan for the low paid begins with making them poorer by cutting their tax credits.“

“You can’t have one nation if children’s lives, opportunities and life chances at every turn are shaped and limited by poverty. The Government’s child poverty approach is failing but the Prime Minister’s speech today simply missed the point and failed to set out what his Government will do to prevent his legacy being the largest rise in child poverty in a generation.

“We need to move from denial to decisive action. That means instead of highlighting symptoms of poverty, such as debt, he needs to tackle the root causes. It is no good pulling bodies out of the river, without going upstream to see who is throwing them in – especially, if turns out the culprit is government policy. The right choices that would reduce poverty include protecting children's benefits with the same triple lock protection pensions enjoy, fixing the deep cuts to tax credit help for the low paid, tackling cripplingly high rents, high childcare costs and expanding free school meals.”

Ends

Note to editors:

  • 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 the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty coalition, which has members from across civil society including children’s charities, faith groups, unions and other civic sector organisation, united in their campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met.

For more information, please call Imran Hussain on 07983 402 283