At a time when many political voices suggest we should be more phlegmatic about child poverty, Dragan Nastic highlights the recent findings of a UNICEF study on child wellbeing in economically advanced nations over the first decade of the 2000s.
In response to the growing burden of childcare costs, the Chancellor announced in this year’s Budget close to an extra £1 billion investment in childcare. At a time of cuts to most government budgets, this is to be celebrated and offers a clear indication of the political priority that childcare now enjoys.
‘Proud to be poor’ is not a banner under which many want to march.’ Writing recently about the lack of respect accorded to those living on a low income, Ruth Lister identified the strong and historic link between poverty and stigma.
In June 2012 when the government published the Households Below Average Income dataset for 2010/11, it announced at the same time that it would revisit the question of how we measure child poverty in the UK.
The latest international comparisons of child poverty rates from UNICEF show a smaller proportion of children living in relative income poverty in Hungary, Slovakia and Estonia than in the UK, Italy, Spain or the United States.
At the 101st session of its conference in June this year, the International Labour Organization agreed Recommendation 202 on national social protection floors. Esoteric though it sounds, this sets standard that has the potential to require the radical upgrading of the British social security system.
How much does it cost to bring up a child, free of material hardship and social disadvantage, in the UK today? How should these costs be measured and what costs should be included? And how adequate is the benefits system in meeting the cost of children?