Posts Tagged ‘Kate Green’

The government must make sure they prioritise children

03/12/2010, 01:15:49 PM

by Kate Green

UNICEF’s Report Card 9 shows that, in comparison to other developed countries, it is material inequality that let’s UK children down.

UK levels of income poverty push the most disadvantaged children further behind compared to similar countries, such as France and Germany.  That’s deeply unfair to children growing up in this country, it’s a waste of children’s potential, and it damages all of us. Inequality between children affects everyone: through costs to business, the police, courts and health and education services.

UNICEF is calling for ambitious action by the government on income poverty in the forthcoming child poverty strategy, and to ensure that children living in poverty do not pay the price for reducing the deficit. But cuts to family incomes and to the public services that families rely on threaten to damage children’s wellbeing and outcomes.

Ministers say their spending plans won’t increase child poverty over the spending review period, but that’s hardly an ambitious statement from a government that’s supposed to be signed up to the target in the Child Poverty Act to reduce child poverty to 10% by 2020.

We can’t afford for progress to stall now: despite Labour’s investment in tax credits, child benefit and helping more parents into employment, we’re already behind target. Cuts to housing benefit, to child benefit, and to help with childcare costs will put families under more strain. Ministers need to show much greater determination and ambition to put families and children first. (more…)

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