Commenting the Unicef Report Card on child wellbeing published today, Imran Hussain, Head of Policy for Child Poverty Action Group, said:
“After years of steadily catching up on our European neighbours, the wellbeing of our children now looks set to fall behind as a result of the government's austerity policies.
“The evidence is now undeniable that investing in children in the first decade of the century worked. The wellbeing and life chances of our children caught up with other countries considerably because we did the right thing and made it a political priority. But we are now expecting absolute child poverty to rise by 600,000 children during the current parliament.
“The promise not to balance the books on the backs of the poorest has not been kept. Children, low income families and key services have been put on the frontline for austerity cuts, which will cause a surge in child poverty and a collapse in opportunities for young people. We owe our children better than this and we put our future prosperity at risk if we fail to invest in their potential.”
Notes to Editors
· CPAG published new research in March of this year which found that absolute child poverty is likely to rise by 600,000 children as a consequence of the decisions on taxation and social security spending by the government. http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/coalition-policies-push-600000-children-absolute-poverty-2015
· The government’s own analysis, published by the Treasury, suggests that the books are being balanced on the backs of the poorest. The table below, taken directly from the Treasury’s Impact on Households document, published alongside this year’s Budget, shows that the impact of the Coalition’s decisions for the year 2013/14 is almost entirely regressive (http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2013_distributional_analysis.pdf). Three out of five deciles in the richest half of the population will actually be made better off, but all the deciles in the poorest half of the population are being made worse off. It clearly demonstrates that the expected rises in child poverty are not an unavoidable consequence of the current situation with the economy and the deficit in the public finances, but as a result of decisions that have left the poorest households carrying an unfair burden.
· CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.
· CPAG is the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty, which has over 150 member organisations and is campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met.
For further information please contact:
CPAG Press Officer
Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302
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