The Child Poverty Act received Royal Assent on 25th March 2010.
The campaign to End Child Poverty welcomes this legislation which will make tackling child poverty a priority for all governments. Giving legal forse to the commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020 is a major step forward and will compel successive governments to account for what they are doing to achieve that goal.
Now that the Child Poverty Act has become law, the Child Poverty Commission will be appointed over the coming months. Once the commission has been appointed it will provide expert advice to the next government, who will then produce a three year child poverty strategy.
ECP welcomes that the Child Poverty Act gives the Child Poverty Commission the power to request the Secretary of State to carry out research or commission others to carry out independent research, as this will support the Commission's advisory function. ECP is also particularly pleased that the Child Poverty Act requires the Secretary of State, when setting the child poverty strategy, to consider which groups of children in the UK are disproportionately affected by socio-economic disadvantage, and to consider the likely impact of government policy on children in these groups.
This will provide a mechanism to target children most at risk of poverty and will allow decisions to be made on the basis of whether they will help these children in the long term.
Click here to download a copy of the Child Poverty Unit's strategy document: 'Ending Child Poverty: Mapping the Route to 2020'