Government turns it back on poor children

July 1, 2015

Responding to today’s  statement from Iain Duncan Smith on changes to the poverty measure, Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said:

“The Government is turning its back on poor children.  Only a year ago, the Secretary of State claimed the child poverty targets would be met but last week’s child poverty statistics showed that absolute child poverty has risen by half a million since 2010 and that progress on relative poverty has stalled.

“Today’s statement isn’t about strengthening efforts to end child poverty but about burying the failure of the Government’s child poverty approach.  And with more cuts coming down the line, child poverty is set to rise. 

“Two thirds of poor children are in working families – it’s unclear whether these children will be counted as poor in the future.

“The Child Poverty Act secured the support of many in the voluntary sector and all the main political parties because it made clear that any effective child poverty strategy has to take a broad approach – it needs to look at jobs and skills, health and education, home and communities as well as direct financial support to families. (1)

“A child poverty strategy which excludes income isn’t a child poverty strategy”.

END

Notes to editors:

  • (1) When the government consulted on new measures of child poverty in 2013, 97% of respondents believed that all the targets under the Child Poverty Act should be retained (101 out of 104 giving a response; 2 of the remaining 3 respondents believed that the relative income target alone should be retained). Only 8% of respondents believed that new measures were needed to replace the current measures (14 out of 183 giving a response). Source: DWP analysis of consultation responses, obtained via a Freedom of Information request in April 2014.
  • 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.