All Kids Count - don't give up on child poverty
UPDATE - Monday 29th January
Success! The Government has agreed to commit in law to publishing statistics on child poverty every year. This is really welcome. It will stop ministers from deciding not to publish official child poverty statistics in future years. Thank you to all our campaigners for their hard work.
UPDATE - Monday 25th January
The House of Lords voted today to reject the government's plans to scrap all measures of child poverty based on income. The Lords argued that money matters, as every poor family knows, and as such it needs to be measured. This campaign was even mentioned in the debate! Read more here.
All kids count. But the government plans to scrap its own targets to end child poverty. Effectively, they want to give up on the 1 in 4 children growing up poor.
When kids grow up poor they miss out – and so do the rest of us. They miss out on the things most children take for granted, they do less well at school and they earn less as adults. Child poverty costs us £29 billion a year. Making sure every child gets a fair chance in life is the right thing to do and the smartest investment we can make as a country.
Rebecca knows first-hand what it’s like to raise a family on not enough money:
"Anyone bringing up children will know the heartache of having to say to no to something the child wants. I dread Christmas, I hate it when I notice their trainers have got a hole in, or they bring another letter home from school... Food seems to be the only expense we have immediate control over, so that budget gets squeezed, and our home isn't as warm as we would like through the winter.
So when I heard that the government is planning to effectively give up on its duty to reduce child poverty, by scrapping child poverty targets, I was shocked. Instead of admitting they won’t hit that target in 2020, they plan to ignore child poverty completely and just monitor at ‘life chances’: whether parents are in work and how well kids do at their GCSEs."
The legislation making these changes – the Welfare Reform and Work Bill – is being considered by the House of Lords this Christmas. We already know they’re not afraid to stand up to the government on tax credit cuts. Now we’re asking them to do so again, for the 3.7 million children growing up poor.