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Guardian - Government Fails To Reach Child Poverty Targets

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Significant that housing costs make a big difference to these figures, but that the report below only mentions this in passing! They mention affordable childcare and getting people into work, but completely fail to make the connection that these issues are dependent on high housing costs!

WHY aren't so-called "left-wing" newspapers like the Guardian not reporting this as "High housing costs mean more children than necessary living in poverty"? FFS, when will they stop pretending that high house prices are good for society?? :angry:

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Government misses child poverty target

Matt Weaver and agencies

Thursday March 9, 2006

The government has fallen well short of a key manifesto commitment on reducing child poverty, it revealed today.

Tony Blair pledged to cut the number of children living in poverty by a quarter, from 4.1 million in 1999 to 3.1 million by April 2005, as part of an ambitious three-stage drive to halve it by 2010 and eliminate the problem altogether by 2020.

Poverty experts regard the first milestone of cutting child poverty as the easiest milestone to reach. But new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions revealed it has fallen short by 300,000 children.

They showed that, after housing costs are taken into account, there are still 3.4 million children living in poverty - a fall of only 17% since 1999. Experts said the figures left the government with a "mountain to climb" to meet its next target of halving child poverty by 2010.

But for now the government has made more progress based on a different measure of poverty from which housing costs are excluded. Here it has cut the numbers to 2.4 million children - a reduction of 700,000 since 1999, or 23%.

Announcing the figures, the work and pensions secretary, John Hutton, promised to "redouble" government's efforts to ensure the child poverty targets were met.

But he pointed out that poverty was falling faster in Britain than any other country in Europe.

"The changes this government have made, such as tax credits to make work pay and our decision to invest in and reform key public services, have helped lift 2.4 million people out of poverty since 1997 - including 800,000 children and a million pensions," he said.

But Mr Hutton added: "Despite these achievement, we have not quite reached our first target on child poverty, but we remain absolutely committed to the goal the prime minister set by in 1999 of eradicating child poverty within a generation."

The Institute for Fiscal Studies predicted that the government would struggle to meet its 2010 target.

Jonathan Shaw, its research economist, said: "This year's disappointing figures have left the government a bigger mountain to climb to meets its next target - child poverty will have to fall half as quickly again over the next six years as it has done over the past six years.

"But it is now becoming harder to target money on families with children without weakening work incentives."

Poverty campaigners expressed their disappointment.

Save the Children called for a review into why the target was missed.

Its director, Colette Marshall, said: "The government was right to set this ambitious target but the failure to hit it is devastating for the future of the poorest children."

"Tony Blair should coordinate a review into what went wrong and why the target wasn't met," she said.

She said the charity was worried about the "absurd mess" of 11 different government departments trying to tackle child poverty.

Ms Marshall said the charity's research showed the government had helped those closest to the poverty line but had had little impact on the poorest.

Kate Green, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said the reduction was not enough. But she added: "Without this ambitious target, it's unlikely such progress would ever have been made."

Caroline Abrahams, chair of the End Child Poverty Campaign, said: "In a country as rich as ours, it's a scandal that millions of children still grow up below the poverty line."

Labour's favourite thinktank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, warned that the government would need to spend an extra £2bn a year on more generous tax credits for poor families, to ensure the 2020 target was met.

It said that currently large families were penalised by the way child tax credits were calculated.

The IPPR's deputy director, Ian Kearns, said: "We also need to help more parents into work and that means more flexible jobs and access to affordable, high-quality childcare."

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) said children were living in poverty because employers were discriminating against their disabled parents, and the support they needed to re-enter work was not available.

Its chairman Bert Massie said: "Ending child poverty is a disability issue. In nearly 70% of households where both parents are not working there is at least one parent who is disabled.

"Child poverty is a direct cost of disability discrimination in the workplace. The government cannot achieve its child poverty targets without getting more disabled parents into work."

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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