The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is an independent, non-partisan, statutory body of experts, set up in 1980 to advise the Secretary of State on secondary legislation and to scrutinise how social security policy will be implemented.
In recent years there has been a great deal of political activity directed towards the goal of ‘eradicating’ child poverty in the UK. The Child Poverty Act enshrines this goal in law, two child poverty strategies have been published and, at times, a great deal of progress has been made.
The Child Poverty Act 2010 requires the government to produce a strategy every three years, setting out the action it plans to take to end child poverty in the UK. Alongside this, the Act established an independent Child Poverty and Social Mobility Commission.
During the recent economic downturn, we have seen public attitudes towards benefit recipients harden. But are attitudes towards child poverty behaving in a similar manner or is the public becoming more sympathetic?
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.
CPAG challenged the government’s approach to the Child Poverty Act in the High Court, and achieved a declaration that it had acted unlawfully (R (CPAG) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for Education. Sarah Clarke explains the history to the case.
The Child Poverty Act 2010 places an obligation on governments to end child poverty in the UK by 2020. It also places new duties on devolved administrations and local government to tackle child poverty.