'Government's policies will push 600,000 children into absolute poverty by 2015'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Communities
child povertyImage: via Shutterstock
The government's policies are likely to push 600,000 children into absolute poverty by 2015, according to new research.
The analysis by Landman Economics for Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) was based on the Tory-led Coalition's tax and benefit spending policies implemented since 2010 and planned until 2015.
A Freedom of Information request by CPAG has also revealed for the first time new information about the child poverty impacts of the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill.
The request revealed that the Bill will push 200,000 children into absolute poverty (previous impact assessment was only given for relative poverty).
It was also discovered that the government has failed to make any assessment of the impact of the Bill on either the material deprivation of children, or the persistent poverty of children (the government has targets for both these measures under the Child Poverty Act).
The House of Lords will vote on March 19 on whether to exempt children’s benefits from the one percent uprating cap.
CPAG's head of policy, Imran Hussain, said: “These alarming figures reveal that not only are the poorest families in the country being left behind compared to everyone else, but also that their living standards are going into reverse as they struggle to absorb the impact of wave after wave of policy decisions that hit families with children the hardest.
“This is not just about pace and scale of cuts, it boils down to ensuring that our children are not on the frontline of austerity.
“Spending cuts pushing families and children into poverty are part of what’s holding back the economy. This is because low income families spend their money straight away in their local shops and services, helping struggling businesses to survive.
“With the economy still stagnant, it is time to look at how helping families might also help the economy. Ministers should start by accepting the amendment to the welfare benefits uprating bill so that children’s benefits and tax credits can keep up with rising prices.
“The Budget provides an important opportunity for Ministers to do more to help families. It’s fair pay, affordable childcare, affordable homes and full employment that is needed by families if we are to make progress ending poverty and getting the economy growing strongly again.”