Miliband speech on social security – CPAG reaction

June 6, 2013

Responding to announcements from the Labour Party about the speech Ed Miliband will make today (Thursday) on social security, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“We welcome Labour’s shift to looking at the root causes that put pressure on social security spending and increase poverty, such as poverty pay, sky-high rents and lack of affordable childcare. The big future savings will come from building more affordable homes, tackling low pay, giving job guarantees and reducing childcare costs.

“The big problem with caps on benefit spending is they are more likely to drive down life chances of our children than public spending. There is a very real risk that a requirement to stay within a cap would lead to bad policy, such as benefit cuts that drive up child poverty and spending in other government departments, landing taxpayers with a colossal bill. Research Child Poverty Action Group published this week shows that current levels of child poverty cost us as a country £29 billion every year in extra government spending on services and the economic potential wasted.

“A social security system that plays its part in ending child poverty will help secure year-on-year savings right across government. Child poverty rates are much higher than for pensioners; it’s time children got the equivalent of a triple lock to protect them too.”


Notes to Editors

  • DWP figures shows that for 2010/11 the proportion of pensioners in relative low income poverty was 11% before housing costs and 9% after housing costs; whereas for children it was 18% before housing costs and 27% after housing costs.
  • 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, which has over 150 member organisations and is 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