26 Jun 2013

Responding to the office of the children’s commissioner for England's report on the impact on children of the government's economic policies, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive at The Children’s Society, said:

'This report provides yet more evidence that vulnerable children and families are paying the biggest price for the government’s austerity measures.

'A combination of changes to welfare support, and other spending cuts, will lead to an additional 600,000 children living in poverty. And the incomes of families with children will be reduced by twice as much compared to those families without.

'Not only does this mean that many more families will struggle to put food on the table, or clothe their children. It also raises serious questions about whether the government is fulfilling its legal and moral obligations to ensure children have an adequate standard of living and are supported to thrive and fulfil their potential. This has profound long-term social and economic implications for the UK.

'The government must urgently review the impact of its welfare reforms on children and make sure that the books are not being balanced on the backs of children, to both their detriment and of our whole society.'


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Notes to editors

  • The report, A Child Rights Impact Assessment of the 2013 Budget and the cumulative impact of tax-benefit reforms and reductions in public expenditure 2010 – 2015, analysed the effects of cuts in public spending and tax and benefit changes.
  • 3.6 million children in the UK are living in poverty.
  • Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families.
  • The government has admitted that by limiting benefit rises to 1% will alone push 200,000 children into poverty over the next three years.
  • We want 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 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.