Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, response to Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said:
'The government’s child poverty strategy does not commit to the steps necessary to tackle child poverty in the run-up to 2020 – the year by which it committed to end this crisis. This will leave millions of children trapped in poverty. As the Commission rightly points out, the government needs to adopt an effective strategy which shows how it will meet its target.
'As we highlighted in our own response to the child poverty strategy, there are a number of practical steps that the government can take to end child poverty in the UK. These include making free school meals available to all children in poverty and to make sure that all children living in poverty automatically get the Warm Home Discount. Both are pivotal to helping end to the millions of families that every day face harsh choices between giving their putting food on the table and heating their home.
'The government also needs to do more to tackle problem debt, including working with creditors and the free debt advice sector to develop a ‘breathing space’ scheme. This would give struggling families an extended period of protection from default charges, mounting interest, collections and enforcement action. The government must take real steps now to save children from being trapped in poverty and give them the chance of a better future that they deserve.'
For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to editors
- Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families.
- The Commission’s response to the government’s consultation on its draft child poverty strategy 2014-2017.
- For more information see evidence we submitted to the government’s child poverty consultation.
- The Children’s Society is supporting the first-ever Children’s Commission on Poverty. The commissioners want the government to draw on children’s actual experience – and not just the statistics -- when developing measures to tackle child poverty. The Children’s Commission on Poverty is being supported by The Children’s Society and led by a panel of 16 children and teenagers from across England, ranging in age from 12 to 19. They are leading an 18-month investigation into child poverty in the UK. It provides a crucial platform for children to speak out about what poverty is really like and reveal, through their own eyes, the day-to-day challenges they face and what needs to be done.
• The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life. Someone who acts on their behalf and can help guide them through the extremely complex system. These children deserve to be kept safe so they can recover from the trauma they have suffered and rebuild their lives.