20 Oct 2014

Reacting to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s State of the Nation report, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'Failure to end child poverty by 2020 would be a national disgrace, reflecting repeated failures by successive governments to back up words with action, but at the moment it is not clear what practical steps the Government will take to turn the tide. The priority must be for the Government to set out a strategy for meeting the target, even if this means pushing back the date by which this will be achieved.
   
'The millions of children whose families are struggling right now with debt, food and heating bills will continue to suffer until politicians are willing to take decisive action. It would be a good start to help more families escape problem debt, make sure that all children in poverty receive free school meals, help poor families with rising fuel bills and ensure that benefits and tax credits paid for children increase in line with costs of living.'


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Notes to editors:

  • 3.7 million children in the UK are living in poverty today: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-199495-to-201213
  • Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-199495-to-201213
  • By 2020, an estimated three quarters of a million more children will be living in poverty than today according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies: http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r78.pdf
  • 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 has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.