Patricia Gibson MP has said the Tories will be directly responsible for pushing a million more children into poverty if they continue their failure to address rising child poverty rates.
Currently, there are 4.2 million children living in poverty across the UK. Just last month, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (report on link below) warned that the UK child poverty rate is projected to increase to 5.2 million by 2022 and be impacted further by Covid-19.
Mrs Gibson said it is a “miserable failure” that even after this report, the Chancellor’s fiscal statement didn’t include serious measures to tackle child poverty.
Leading anti-poverty campaigners have echoed the concerns raised by the SNP that the measures announced last Wednesday will do nothing to rebuild the social security net and lift people out of poverty. Please see below.
Commenting, Patricia said:
“The Chancellor’s statement on Wednesday was a miserable failure regarding the soaring levels of child poverty. If this Tory Government continues to sit on its hands, it will be directly responsible for pushing a million more children into poverty over the next two years.
“The Scottish National Party (SNP) has put forward proposals that would help to rebuild the social security net and lift children out of poverty including introducing an emergency basic payment to help families struggling due to the current crisis, and uplifting the child element of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit by £20 a week. Families should not have to choose between paying essential bills or feeding their children.
“After a decade of brutal austerity cuts, which have served only to exacerbate poverty, and a global pandemic, it is now more critical than ever that the UK government starts taking child poverty seriously. If it will not, we will see long lasting damage for many years.”
Helen Barnard, Acting Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation added:
“Nothing to help low income families with children, despite 7 in 10 having to cut back on essentials like food and nappies, and majority building up debt and getting behind with rent and bills. Where’s the lifeline for children?”
Child Poverty Action Group (UK) - CPAG said:
“The Chancellor’s focus on protecting jobs and supporting people into work is welcome and desperately needed in response to higher unemployment. He also needs to recognise that most children in poverty have a working parent, so a job itself is not a guaranteed route out of poverty. Without more investment in universal credit to make work pay, many pandemic-hit parents will remain locked out of the labour market or in a job that keeps them poor.”
The Poverty Alliance stated:
“The Chancellor’s announcement of a youth jobs scheme is welcome, but his statement did not include the action we need to ensure our social security system is able to keep people afloat and support an economic recovery for all.”