Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Child Poverty and the growing distance between ambition and reality

Headline news today was the publication of an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report Child and Working-Age Poverty from 2010 to 2010.

The IFS research says that child poverty rates are set to increase substantially, despite the Government’s child poverty strategy which sets targets for reducing child poverty.

We are members of the End Child Poverty campaign in Scotland. A spokesperson for the coalition of campaign groups, charities, faith groups and trade unions in Scotland said:

"This analysis by the IFS shows that the new Universal Credit being introduced by the UK government cannot reverse the impact of massive cuts to welfare benefits, rising inflation, stagnating wages and higher unemployment. In a rich country that already has shamefully high child poverty levels, this news is devastating. If allowed to happen, it will reverse the progress made over the past decade and set us back to the rapidly rising child poverty rates of the 1980s and 1990s."

We are calling on the UK Government to take immediate steps to reduce child poverty if it is going to stand any chance of honouring the commitments made in the Coalition Agreement.

The group is also called on the Scottish Government to do more to ensure the ambitions set out in its child poverty strategy are supported by its budget decisions.

The importance of giving children the best start in life is underlined by our report from 2009 on Growing Up in Scotland. 

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