Each day up to the general election on 12 December we’re looking at how the next government can play Santa to PCS members by tackling some of the biggest issues they face. Third on our list is making child poverty a thing of the past.
According to the charity Child Poverty Action Group, which campaigns for policies that will prevent and solve poverty, there were 4.1 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2017-18. That's 30% of children, or 9 in a classroom of 30 and, according to DWP figures 47% of children living in lone-parent families are in poverty. While children from black and minority ethnic groups are more likely to be in poverty: 45% are now in poverty, compared with 26% of children in white British families.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies there are expected to be 5.2 million children living in poverty in the UK by 2022. Child poverty reduced dramatically between 1998 and 2012 when 800,000 children were lifted out of poverty.
The number of children growing up in poverty in working households has risen by 800,000 since 2010, according to new TUC analysis. The analysis also shows the number of children living below the breadline – despite being in a working family – has increased by 38% since the decade began. 70% of children growing up in poverty live in a household where at least one person works.
National minimum wage is not enough
CPAG’s ‘Cost of a Child’ report found that the national minimum wage simply isn’t enough for parents to provide what is referred to as a basic, no-frills lifestyle. Two parents working full-time on the minimum wage will fall 12% short of the minimum cost to bring up a family. The problem is particularly acute for single parents, who every week fall 20% short of being able to provide an acceptable level of living for their children.
In 2018, the UN rapporteur on poverty on human rights visited the UK and concluded levels of child poverty were “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster.”
The current government scrapped the target to end child poverty by 2020. Since 2010, nearly half a million more children in working families have been forced below the breadline as a direct result of this government’s policies.
The Labour party has pledged to stop 300,000 children from being in poverty by scrapping the benefit cap and the two-child limit, so ending the immoral and outrageous ‘rape clause’. Labour has pledged to pay childcare costs up front so that parents aren’t forced to turn down work or get into debt to pay for childcare.
Use your vote in the general election on 12 December to help make child poverty a thing of the past.
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