Now you see them… now you don’t!
After weeks of campaigning we were delighted that the government’s proposal to stop reporting income as a measure of child poverty was defeated on Monday in the House of Lords, meaning no child will be ignored.
We joined with End Child Poverty coalition to campaign against the suggested reforms to the 2010 Child Poverty Act. It was proposed that GSCE attainment and numbers of children living in workless households would be a sufficient measure of the scale and depth of child poverty in the UK. However, we know first-hand that working families on low incomes struggle to provide the basics for themselves and their families. Many of the people we meet at our foodbank often have to choose between putting on the heating and putting food on the table.
28% of children in the UK are living in poverty. That’s 3.7 million children, or the equivalent of everyone living in Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Cornwall and Manchester living in poverty.
By changing the way child poverty is measured, we would be ignoring 2.4 million children, or 64% of children living in poverty, who are in working families.
One of our First Love Foundation heroes, Lorna, met with End Child Poverty to tell her story about what it’s like to be a working parent facing poverty.
“I should have been able to afford it, as a working mum, but I couldn’t afford to put food on the table for my children” Lorna
You can read her blog here.
Alison Garnham, the Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group (one of our partners) said, “The Lords is on the side of the experts and the public here. MPs now have a chance to demonstrate their commitment to tackling child poverty.” The Guardian, 2016. Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith said “It should be a national mission to ensure every child has a decent start in life and measuring relative wealth and narrowing the gap in incomes must be central to that task.” The Independent, 2016
Statistics from End Child Poverty website and twitter feed
Alison Garnham – House of Lords votes to keep income-related child poverty measures, The Guardian, 25/1/2016. Read more
Owen Smith – Government loses major House of Lords vote to redefine child poverty, The Independent, 26/1/2016. Read more