Today, children are already twice as likely to be poor as pensioners. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, child poverty is set to soar to 5.1 million children by 2022 – a 42 per cent rise over ten years.
This briefing describes how poverty gaps – the distance below the poverty line that the typical family living in poverty finds themselves – have changed since the start of the financial crisis. It shows that, even as the poverty rate has remained broadly stable, the poor have got poorer, and the experience of poverty has become harsher.
The government intends to replace the current statutory child poverty measures with new measures of ‘life chances’. Four statutory measures have been put forward: children in workless households, children in long-term workless households, and educational attainment at Key Stage 4 (GCSE) for all children and for disadvantaged children.
The post-crash period has been one in which children have been poorly protected, bearing the brunt of austerity measures, with the result that child poverty is increasing, and is set to do so into the future.