13 May 2011

The new Household Below Average Income figures out today (Thursday 12 May) bring the welcome news that in the heart of the recession (2009-2010), child poverty fell. However, The Children's Society is deeply concerned that this positive progress will be undermined by current and upcoming government policies.

The government has already implemented several policies that are potentially detrimental to the poorest group of children, including the decrease in the percentage of childcare costs that can be recouped through the working tax credit. The Children's Society’s well-being research has found that a decrease in family income is directly related to lower well-being for children.

Even more worrying is that the Welfare Reform Bill, which makes big promises about child poverty, could leave many of the worst off families struggling even further. Children in out of work families may be penalised by a cap on household benefits whilst working families are likely to face further reductions in help with childcare costs. Disabled children could face a halving of support compared to that provided through Child Tax Credit.

Once again it is the most vulnerable young people who are being hit the hardest. If the government is truly committed to ending child poverty by 2020, as it claims, it must invest in welfare for the next generation.

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Rafi Cooper in The Children's Society press office. Tel: 07740 777 450. Email: rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk
Alternatively, please ring 020 7841 4422 to speak to another member of the media team.

Please find The Children's Society latest well-being research here.