William Eichler 27 March 2020

Charity calls for ‘emergency measures’ to tackle child poverty

Charity calls for ‘emergency measures’ to tackle child poverty image

A charity dedicated to fighting child poverty has called on the Government to introduce a package of ‘emergency measures’ to lift children out of poverty.

Yesterday’s publication of annual poverty statistics for 2018- 2019 found that 72% of poor children live in working families - up from 70% in 2017-18.

They also revealed that 15% of poor children have a self-employed parent, which is a record high, and the number of children in poverty rises 100,000 to 4.2 million after housing costs, up from 3.6 million in 2010.

This means that 30% of UK children are below the poverty line.

Over the decade from 2010 to 2020, child benefit – paid to 12.7 million children – will have lost almost a quarter of its value because it has not been updated as prices have risen, the charity says.

Families have also been pushed into poverty or further into poverty through policies that have affected families the most, such as benefit freezes, benefit cap and the two-child policy. Child Poverty Action Group argues that the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has shown that ‘radical action is possible’.

They cite research by Professor Jonathan Bradshaw and Dr Antonia Keung which found that a modest increase in child benefit of £10 per child per week would reduce child poverty by 5%. This is compared to the less than 2% resulting from the £20 universal credit and tax credits uplift announced by the chancellor last week.

A package of emergency measures is possible, the charity says, including removing the two-child limit and benefit cap, restoring the child element in Universal Credit and tax credits to its 2015/16 value and restoring the higher amount for first children, and £5 extra on child benefit.

This package would lift 700,000 children out of poverty and boost the incomes of families with children by £1,000 a year on average, at a cost of £8.3bn.

‘We are facing a child poverty crisis,’ said chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham.

‘In recent days the Government has taken extraordinary steps, at a pace, to protect the jobs of millions and prevent an economic disaster as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, but still many families in low-paid and insecure jobs will be waking up this morning to the realities of our inadequate social security system.

‘Raising the adult rate in universal credit and tax credits is a welcome improvement, but more is needed when it comes to reducing child poverty. Unless concerted action is taken now, this week’s laid-off workers and their children will be adding to next year’s poverty statistics.’

Protecting art in a crisis image

Protecting art in a crisis

Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy outline how local authorities can play an important part in enabling arts and culture to flourish in their areas.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Practitioner - DBIT Over 10's Team

Essex County Council
£39168.0 - £47405.0 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
D-BIT is a secondary team working in partnership with front line children's services, devising a robust and structured connecting /reunification plans. England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Value Lead - 12-18 month Fixed Term Contract

Essex County Council
£52000 - £60609 per annum + + Flexible Working & Local Gov Pension
Educated to a degree level with a relevant professional qualification (such as MCIPS) or equivalent demonstrable work experience. Evidence of continuing professional development and expert knowledge in Procurement. CIPS Membership desirable. England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director – Capital Delivery

Surrey County Council
up to £98,000 per annum
Our AD - Capital Delivery will be responsible for planning, driving forward and delivering Surrey County Councils ambitious Capital Programme Surrey
Recuriter: Surrey County Council

Senior Practitioner - Assessment & Intervention

Essex County Council
£39168.0 - £47405.0 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
To hold and sustain a caseload consisting of the most sensitive, "complex and difficult" cases to which the post holder can bring to bear the highest standards of professional ability and a considerable depth of knowledge in relevant legislation in policy England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Chef Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,171 to £19,945 pro rata
As our Chef Manager you will be responsible for delivering a customer-focused, exciting and healthy catering service, operating to... Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue