6 Apr 2011

Comment from Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive at The Children's Society. 

'Poverty and unequal life chances are the root cause of many of the social ills affecting our country's children, so the government's determination to ensure every child has the chance to fulfil their potential must be applauded.

However, if government is to succeed it cannot be blind to the fact that the amount of money a parent has does make a real difference to their children.

The Children’s Society research clearly shows that in low income households’ children not only suffer material consequences but they are also far more likely to suffer from low well-being - often a precursor to poor mental health and other issues.

It is critical that income based targets do not become sidelined and that tackling the causes of poverty is combined with supporting parents. The government need to ensure work genuinely pays and that those who can't work are not left caught in a never ending poverty trap.

The government has taken the bold and ambitious step of setting demanding targets on improving social mobility and addressing severe poverty. But success in the months and years ahead will be measured on whether or not the outcomes for children living in families suffering multiple disadvantages are genuinely transformed for the better.

For now, as the spending cuts bite there is a real risk that more, not less, children will have their lives blighted by severe financial hardship.'

Ends

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Lorna Harris in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4424 or via email Lorna.Harris@childrenssociety.org.uk