Government abandons low income families in child poverty u-turn

November 29, 2011

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham, said:

“Britain’s poorest families have been abandoned today and left to face the worst. The increase in child tax credit that the Chancellor said last year was there to stop child poverty rising for at least two years has been cancelled today.

“Warnings of a bleak future of rising child poverty have not just been ignored, the government has actively decided to let child poverty rise. This is not the fairness we were promised and it will cost the nation dearly in years to come.

"The extension of early years childcare is obviously welcome, but all the evidence shows it’s no silver bullet for ending child poverty if children are made poorer at home. Child poverty is only going to go up and this government has no plans to stop it.”

Notes for editors
  • In the June Budget 2010 and Spending review 2010, additions to Child Tax Credit were hypothecated for preventing rises in child poverty due to other cuts.
  • The June Budget announced a further £50 above annual indexing for Child Tax Credit
  • The Spending Review announced that the government would be “increasing the child element of the Child Tax Credit by a further £30 in 2011-12 and £50 in 2012-13 above indexation, meaning annual increases of £180 [in 2011/12] and then £110 [in 2012/13].”
  • Spending Review 2010 also said: “Increases to the Child Tax Credit also ensured that the Budget will have no measurable impact on child poverty in the next two years (Estimated with HM Treasury’s tax and benefits micro-simulation model, based on 2007-8 Family Resources Survey data projected to 2011-12 and 2012-13.)”
  • In the Autumn Statement 2011 (today), it was announced that “the £110 above inflation increase that was planned for 2012-13 will not go ahead.”
  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report on 11 October 2011 earning that both absolute and relative child poverty levels are set to rise by hundreds of thousands of children under the government’s current plans.
  • Research by the Jospeh Rowntree Foundation suggest that Britain’s exceptionally high levels of child poverty costs us £25 billion a year, therefore undermining economic sustainability. £17 billion of this is a cost to the Exchequer.
  • 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 please contact:

Tim Nichols

CPAG Press Officer

Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302

tnichols@cpag.org.uk