Spending choices must be judged for impact on poorest, say campaigners

July 29, 2010

Commenting on the publication of the Independent Budget Review report today, John Dickie, Head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, who submitted evidence to the Review Panel, said:

“Every spending choice must be judged for its impact on our worst off children and families. The temptation to reduce spending by cutting jobs and universal benefits needs to be balanced against the need to deliver services that prevent poverty, and don’t just target the consequences of that poverty.

“We are still a rich country. It is vital that politicians look at the tax levers available to them to make sure those who can afford it make a fair contribution to funding the public services we need if we are serious about eradicating child poverty.”

Mr. Dickie continued;

“Means-testing too often means our poorest families suffer now, as take up of services and benefits reduces, but it also undermines the long term conditions needed to abolish poverty rather than just alleviate it. Universal approaches to free school meals and early years provision must be built on, not rolled back, and low paid workers pay increased, not frozen.”

Notes for editors

For further information please contact:

John Dickie, Head of CPAG in Scotland, on 0141 552 3656 or 07795 340 61802

  • CPAG in Scotland submitted written evidence to the Review calling for all spending challenges and choices to be proofed for the immediate impact on children living in poverty and the consequences for developing the long term conditions needed to eradicate child poverty; the value of universal services in tackling inequality and poverty to be recognized and the role of devolved tax policy to be examined in relation to public spending challenges. See http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/919/0102142.pdf
  • Child Poverty Action Group’s manifesto was published in March 2009.
  • 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 one of over 150 member organisations of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goals of halving child poverty by 2010 and ending child poverty by 2020 are met.