CPAG statement on welfare reform bill and child poverty statistics

February 26, 2016

In response to the Government amendment, on the statutory publication of child poverty statistics, to the Welfare Reform & Work Bill, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“This is a good and welcome step and we’re pleased that the campaigning work we and others did has helped to secure it. A legally binding duty to publish child poverty statistics reflects the overwhelming view of experts and charities that child poverty must be prioritised and that money matters when we’re discussing child poverty.

“However, the parliamentary time spent repealing the targets on child poverty shows the Prime Minister’s legacy call for an all-out assault on poverty is in deep trouble.

“Child poverty is projected to rise from 2.3m to about 3.8m children by 2020, as a result of the government’s own tax and benefit policies.

“Official statistics measuring child poverty are crucial, but the number one priority has to be urgent and substantial action from government when we’re facing the biggest increase in child poverty in a generation.

“We need a broad, evidence-based approach on poverty and life chances, not one which sidelines child poverty because the outlook here is getting bleaker by the day.”