Responding to today’s first report from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:
“The Commission’s verdict is clear: the Coalition’s current child poverty strategy is failing and child poverty is set to rise. The important thing now is to focus on the positive recommendations the Commission makes to turn this situation around.
“We always put our children’s needs first in family life, but the Commission finds the government isn’t putting children first when it comes to the big decisions. Instead it is making poorer families with children bear the brunt of austerity. We welcome the Commission’s call for the nation’s children to be better protected in decision-making.
“The report is clear that the current child poverty strategy has been blind to labour market failures, despite most poor children these days coming from homes with work. We need firm action to help families suffering problems like low pay, lack of full-time work and job insecurity. The government should start by taking up the Commission’s recommendation to increase the National Minimum Wage and to give all low earner families a higher level of childcare support under Universal Credit. The simplest approach of giving the full 85% childcare support to all including the lowest paid would help reduce child poverty and get more second earners and lone parents into paid work.
“Overall, the Commission’s report is a timely reminder that we will not reduce the unacceptable levels of child poverty in Britain unless politicians are prepared to make active choices to help families. This means action to ensure fair pay, fair rents, fair energy prices and affordable childcare. It also requires a firm commitment that in future years, prosperity will be much more fairly shared by all."
Notes to Editors
- The full report can be linked to here: State of the Nation 2013: social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain.
- 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:
CPAG Press Officer
Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302