Our response to today's poverty statistics: Progress likely to reverse

14 June 2012

Household Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics show 1.1 million children lifted out of poverty since 1999 – progress threatened to go into reverse

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'Today’s figures show that although the interim child poverty target has not been met, action since the start of the millennium has pulled 1.1 million children out of poverty. The government admits that this is the lowest level of child poverty since the mid 1980s. Three hundred thousand children were lifted out of poverty between 2009-10 and 2010-11.

'It is shameful that over the coming decade this progress is likely to be reversed by the government's drastic cuts to support and services for the country’s most vulnerable children and families.

'Child poverty is a scar on our national conscience. It is unacceptable that 2.3 million children in Britain today continue to suffer the degradations of poverty, trapped in an unequal and socially divided country.  It cannot be ignored and we cannot ‘rethink’ the problem out of existence by changing the child poverty targets, which are so clearly set out in the Child Poverty Act.

'It is vital the government focuses on making sure that families have the material resources critical for securing a decent standard of living, and puts its commitment to end child poverty by 2020 back into action.

'The government must review the cuts it is making to welfare, which will affect the poorest children and families. It needs to produce a meaningful plan on how it intends to make sure that by the end of this decade, no childhood is blighted by poverty.'

Ends

Media enquiries

For more information, please call Beth Herzfeld in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email beth.herzfeld@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

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.