Government must act on child poverty watchdog recommendations

June 9, 2014

Responding to the hard-hitting report today from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission on the government’s child poverty strategy, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“The Coalition established the Commission as an expert watchdog on child poverty, so when it says the government’s child poverty strategy lacks credibility Ministers must do something about it.

“Getting more parents into work, improving job security and increasing the minimum wage are all essential, but as the Commission’s new research shows it’s not enough. The big problem is the Coalition’s decision to target austerity on children’s benefits and tax credits for families in low paid work. It’s not fair to punish millions of families with children for an economic crisis caused by the banks.

“The government’s draft child poverty strategy needs a major revamp to make it credible, with a clear explanation of how targets will be met. Now the economy is growing, we need a commitment to restore the value of children’s benefits to their level before the financial crisis.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission who produced the report on which CPAG is commenting can be contacted on 020 7783 8449, or 07824 082818.
  • Note that future projections to 2020 on the child poverty rate from the Institute for Fiscal Studies are even higher than those published by the Commission today. This is because the IFS projections do not model any potential labour market improvements. You can find the IFS projections here: Appendix Table A2 http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn144.pdf
  • The Minister with lead responsibility for child poverty is Iain Duncan Smith. In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s today programme on 26 March this year, he said that the government is on track to meet the targets in the Child Poverty Act 2010. CPAG however felt that Mr Duncan Smith made many inaccurate comments on child poverty and the child poverty targets in his interview, which we have detailed in a briefing note: http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/corrections-and-clarifications-briefing-IDS-Today-prgramme-interview
  • 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 further information please contact:

Tim Nichols

CPAG Press Officer

Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302 

tnichols@cpag.org.uk

www.cpag.org.uk