PM's conference speech: CPAG statement - Poverty is the enemy of opportunity

October 2, 2013

In response to the Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party conference, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

 "The focus on opportunity is right and welcome but the big flaw in the speech is that you can’t build a land of opportunity for all on the ruins of a million more children living in poverty – poverty is the enemy of opportunity.”

“What was missing from the speech was a recognition that hardworking people sometimes lose their jobs or give up work because of disability, illness or to care for others and, crucially, that two thirds of children in poverty are in working families. These parents are putting the effort in but they and their children are falling behind everyone else, left reeling by repeat raids on tax credits, Child Benefit and other benefits. It is disappointing there were no concrete proposals targeted at families struggling with the cost of living.

“Building a land of opportunity means helping families get decent, secure jobs, universal childcare, affordable housing and state support which keeps children out of poverty.”

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

1. For more information, please contact Tim Nichols on 07816909302 or Imran Hussain on 020 7812 5237

2. In May 2013, the Institute for Fiscal Studies published projections (IFS report R78) showing that child poverty could rise by 1.1m by 2020. http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r78.pdf

3. In June 2013, Child Poverty Action Group published a report estimating the current annual cost of child poverty to society at £29bn. If the IFS projections for child poverty are right, then this cost could be £35bn in 2020. http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/estimate-cost-child-poverty-2013