Impact of welfare reforms ignored in new UK child poverty strategy says charity
- 30 Jun
The Child Poverty Action Group has accused the government of ignoring the impact of its welfare reforms in drawing up its new child poverty strategy.
The CPAG's chief executive Alison Garnham has said the strategy But the CPAG's chief executive Alison Garnham said the strategy lacked "clear actions, milestones and progress measures" and "ignored" projections suggesting child poverty would see the steepest rise in a generation in the coming years, reports 24dash.
Garnham said: "We welcome the government's continued commitment to ending child poverty by 2020 but today's strategy isn't good news for a generation of children that needs the government to invest in their childhoods and life chances. The strategy does not add up to being a plan to end child poverty. It ignores independent projections which suggest the UK is heading for the steepest rise in child poverty for a generation. Crucially, it fails to set out clear actions, milestones and progress measures that would set child poverty on a downward trend. Worryingly, half of those who responded to the government's strategy consultation raised concerns about the impact of welfare reform on low income families. Rather than take these views on board, the government looks set to continue with policies that experts show are impoverishing families across the UK. Child poverty already costs Britain £29bn a year. The costs of child poverty will rise unless successive governments implement child poverty strategies that do more than promote jobs but also tackle low pay, promote affordable housing and childcare and help families with the added costs of children."
But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith disagreed, saying: "This strategy outlines our commitment to tackling the root causes of poverty and delivering lasting change that makes a real difference to children's life chances. Despite tough economic times over the last few years, we've introduced reforms to the welfare system that are transforming the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. As part of the government's long-term economic plan we are supporting more families into work, improving living standards and raising educational attainment. Work remains the best route out of poverty and with the economy now growing again we have more people in work than ever before, as well as fewer children in workless households than at any time since records began. These children now not only have a wage-earner in the household, but perhaps even more importantly, they also have a role model to look up to."
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