Press Releases

  • EXTENDING FREE SCHOOL MEALS: A COMPELLING CASE

    April 6, 2017

    Welcoming the Labour party’s commitment to extending free school meals to all primary school children, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:

     “This is a welcome move which we have long campaigned for. The evidence on the benefits for children of extending school meals is very strong. It shows children’s school results are boosted, their diet improves and parents in food poverty have more to spend on nutritious breakfast and dinners for their kids. What’s more, free school meals save families much-needed money and strengthen work incentives, helping parents get better off through work.

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  • CHILD POVERTY JUMPS TO 4 MILLION

    March 16, 2017

     

    o Child poverty up to 4 million

    o 100,000 more children went into poverty in 2015-16 after housing costs

    o 67% of poor children are in working families

    o Self-employed couples with children have a 30% risk of poverty

    o 47% of lone parents’ children are poor

    o London remains the area with the highest child poverty rate – at 37% (after housing costs) . But excluding housing costs, West Midlands and Northern Ireland have the highest child poverty rates regionally, each at 23%

    o The IFS projects the number of children in relative poverty will rise by 1.2 million to 5.1 million by 2021-22 due to real-terms cuts in tax credits and work allowances. (1)

     

    Responding to the Government’s annual poverty statistics which are published today (2) and show an increase in child poverty for the second year running, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said:

     “Today’s figures show that child poverty has increased to 4 million, a level we haven’t seen since 2007-8. The number of poor children in working families has reached 67%. The Prime Minister spoke about injustice on entering Downing Street but there is no greater burning injustice than children being forced into poverty as a result of government policy and no greater damage to our long term prosperity than failing to invest in our children.

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  • BUDGET 2017: NEW LANGUAGE BUT MORE THIN GRUEL FOR STRUGGLING FAMILIES

    March 8, 2017

    Responding to today’s Budget, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:

    “The Budget may have put the next generation first in words, but it was silent on the huge rises in child poverty projected by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (1) over the next five years. Nothing does more to damage the childhoods and life chances of our children than poverty.

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  • CHILD POVERTY BILL: TARGETS NEEDED TO DRIVE ACTION

    February 3, 2017

    Commenting ahead of the second reading today of Dan Jarvis MP’s Private Member’s Bill - Child Poverty in the UK (Target for Reduction) Bill 2016-17 – which places a duty on the Secretary of State to meet four targets for child poverty by a target date (to be specified), Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group said: 

    “Child poverty in the UK is starting to rise for the first time in almost a decade. And IFS projections suggest the rise will be sustained – such that 50% more kids will be under the poverty line by 2020. Yet we’re operating without binding targets to bring child poverty down because the Child Poverty Act was effectively repealed last year. By contrast, Scotland is in the process of introducing its own child poverty legislation including targets for the elimination of child poverty.

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  • CPAG responds to Prime Minister’s ‘shared society’ speech

    January 9, 2017

    Commenting on the Prime Minister's speech today, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham, said:

    "There are nearly 4 million UK children in poverty so the Prime Minister is absolutely right to say Government should commit to a programme of social reform which adds up to more than policies for dysfunctional families or for our very brightest children. 

    “It's confusing to talk about just-about-managing families as one set of people and people on low incomes as another. 

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  • DWP OPERATING SANCTIONS SYSTEM BLIND

    November 30, 2016

    Commenting on today’s National Audit Office (NAO) report on sanctions against benefit claimants, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:

     “As today’s NAO report makes clear, the DWP has little idea what impact sanctions have on individuals and, with some areas imposing twice as many sanctions as others, appears to have little concern for consistency. Sanctions create destitution but the DWP is operating almost blind. It has the tools to establish what happens to sanctioned claimants - and their chances of getting work - but seems to choose not to mobilise these.

     

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  • Autumn Statement: tweaks dwarfed by Summer Budget cuts for JAMs

    November 23, 2016

                    

    The small gains for ‘just managing’ families in today’s Autumn Statement are welcome but for most of these households, they will be dwarfed by the losses they will sustain as a result of Summer 2015 Budget social security cuts:

     The Treasury is briefing that a single parent with one child and no housing costs earning £15,000 per year will gain £170 per year from the lower Universal Credit ‘taper rate’ announced today, but in reality today’s announcement simply means this lone parent will lose £3000 a year, rather than £3,170 a year, as a result of the substantial package of cuts announced in the Summer 2015 Budget.  (1)

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  • CPAG wins Supreme Court bedroom tax breakthrough

    November 9, 2016

    The country’s highest court, the Supreme Court, has ruled that the Government discriminated against a disabled woman and her husband and a severely disabled child who needs overnight care through the implementation of the ‘bedroom tax’.

    The Supreme Court judges dismissed the Government’s appeal in the case of CPAG’s clients Paul and Susan Rutherford who provide around-the-clock care for their disabled grandson and who have a third bedroom for overnight carers.

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  • Response to announcement of the 2016-17 London Living Wage rate

    October 31, 2016

    Responding today to the announcement of the 2016-17 London Living Wage rate, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said:

    “A London Living Wage rate for 2016-17 of £9.75 is a beacon of good news on a pretty grim horizon for the capital's families. 4 in 10 London children live in poverty, over half of these children live in a family where someone is in work so the London Living Wage provides an important mechanism to reduce in-work poverty in London.

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  • Parents on minimum wage cannot meet basic family costs

    September 22, 2016

    Parents working on the ‘national living wage’ still can’t earn enough to provide an acceptable minimum living standard for their children despite flat (and now falling) inflation and a drop in core household costs like food and energy – even if they both work full-time, warns a new report.

    And lone parents’ living standards have deteriorated faster compared to couple-families, with the gap likely to widen, according to the report from Loughborough University’s Donald Hirsch for Child Poverty Action Group.

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