Make child poverty a priority

End Child Poverty sets out its vision for the new government to make child poverty a priority. You can download a copy of this here.

End Child Poverty (www.endchildpoverty.org.uk) is a coalition of around 100 organisations from civic society, including children’s charities, child welfare organisations, social justice groups, faith groups, trade unions and others, united in our vision of a UK free of child poverty.

Every day, End Child Poverty members see the real impacts that poverty has on the daily lives of children today. Low-income affects direct measures of children’s well-being and development, including their cognitive ability, achievement and engagement in school, anxiety levels and behaviour. Child poverty also has a cost to society as a whole – estimated as £29 billion a year.[1]

Child poverty is a problem across the UK
4 million children live in poverty across the UK, and two thirds of those children are in working families.[2] Our local child poverty figures show that child poverty exists in every community. It is at its highest in large cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow; but is also high in South East Kent and rural regions such as South West England and South Wales, for example.[3] Furthermore, the Institute for Fiscal Studies projects that child poverty will rise to around 5 million children by 2020.[4]

Social security not keeping pace with prices
Many benefits for children have hardly risen in recent years. Our ‘Feeling the pinch’ report shows that while prices will increase by 35%, Child Benefit will have increased in cash terms by just 2% between 2010 and 2020 – around a seventeenth of what would be needed to keep up with increases in the cost of living. Furthermore, housing benefit now bears little relationship to typical local rents and many families are affected by the ‘poverty premium’ (the extra cost that people on lower incomes can pay for goods and services, compared with the cost paid by people on a higher income). In 2016, this poverty premium amounts to around £1700 per year.[5]

Now is the time for concerted action to tackle child poverty, for the good of our children, our society and our country.

We will call on the new government to:
• End the freeze on Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit and reinstate the link between annual increases in benefit levels and inflation.
• Ensure that support with housing costs for families renting privately rises in line with increases in local rents.
• Establish a commission to consider how businesses can ensure that their customers on a low income do not face paying the highest prices for goods and services.

End Child Poverty calls upon the new government to make child poverty a priority. Will you help ensure that no child grows up in hardship or loses out through poverty?

For more information, contact Kate Goddard, End Child Poverty Coalition Coordinator
on kate@endchildpoverty.org.uk or 07918 567577

[1] http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/child-poverty-costs-uk-29-billion-year
[2] HBAI, March 2016 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-199495-to-201516
[3] http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/poverty-in-your-area-2016/
[4] IFS Report R127 Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2016–17 to 2021–22 https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/8957
[5] http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/images/Feelingthepinch/ECP-FeelingThePinch-final-report.pdf