Responding to today’s report from the UN Special Rapporteur on Poverty, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said:
“The UN Rapporteur has exposed the Government’s refusal to acknowledge the scale of child poverty in the UK. By shining an independent light on poverty in the UK, he observed the poor living conditions of children and their families that are seen every day in schools, playgrounds and doctors’ surgeries. As a nation we want to provide a good start for every child but there are now 4.1 million children below the UK’s poverty line and independent projections suggest the number will reach 5 million by 2020-21(1). The childhoods and life chances of a generation are being compromised. After a decade of cuts, low-earning families and those who can't work have been left with too little to live on and the damage is showing. We can reduce child poverty in the UK – we’ve done it before. But it will require a willingness from Government to first see the problem and then to deliver a strategy for solving it.
“The Work and Pensions Secretary wants a compassionate social security system. Will she then commit to restoring the value of children’s benefits and make sure that they once again rise with inflation? That would begin to make good on the losses that austerity caused – and is still causing – to the families least able to withstand them.”
Notes to Editors:
1 Figure 2.3, online appendix : https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/comms/R136.pdf
CPAG media contact: Jane Ahrends on 0207 812 5216 or 07816 909302