UK children in poverty to reach 3.5m by 2020
UK’s child poverty plans are doomed to fail as 3.5 million are expected to be in dearth by 2020 says new research.
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said: “The government’s draft strategy for the next three years is a missed opportunity and falls very short of what is needed.”
Both the organisations have urged politicians to all work together.
Ministers have said that they remain committed to end child poverty in the UK by 2020.
The child poverty promise, enshrined in law in 2010, includes a pledge to cut the number of children who are in poverty to 10% by 2020.
Labour MP Alan Milburn said: “The draft child poverty strategy was a missed opportunity and fell very short of what is needed to reduce or end child poverty in Britain. It was a farce and particularly lamentable that ministers have been unable to agree on how to measure poverty after rubbishing their current measures. The government’s approach falls far short of what is needed to reduce yet alone end child poverty in our country.”
The research suggests it would need “big increases” in the working hours of poor families that currently seems implausible and far more ambitious than anything that has been achieved in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
However, the report recognised some good aspects to the plans. It commended extending childcare support to low-income families and recognising the poverty problem in the previous reports.
The commission has warned this is not going to be enough for the government to be able to meet its 2020 targets.
It criticised the government’s lack of any clear plans to assess progress and the absence of a detailed course of action to ensure that poverty went down. It also identified limited action to get other parts of society, such as employers, engaged in tackling poverty and a lack of new action on in-work poverty as fundamental problems.
In addition, it also accused the government of ignoring the impact of welfare cuts.