Revelation about Malcom Wicks highlights need to protect child benefit today

January 20, 2014

Commenting on today’s revelations about the role of the late Malcom Wicks in the introduction of child benefit, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“Finally, the great mystery of who saved child benefit from failing to get off the ground is solved. Today's revelation serves to underline that Malcolm Wicks was a decent and courageous man with a passionate and informed understanding of the social security system and the difference it could make to families.

“Over the years, millions of families with children have been helped out with the cost of children by this hugely popular, effective and simple benefit. The investments in child benefit are recognised as one of the key drivers of the big falls in UK child poverty under the last government. With the real value of child benefit set to fall by 15% during this parliament, child benefit once again needs politicians fighting to protect it.”


Notes to Editors

  • Malcolm Wicks’ autobiography, published posthumously, has revealed that he was the source of a leak of information to Child Poverty Action Group in 1976 that revealed plans by then Prime Minister, James Callaghan, to shelve the proposed introduction of child benefit.
  • 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