The coalition government has reiterated its commitment to end child poverty in the UK by 2020 through tackling what it calls the underlying causes of deprivation. It has launched a consultation seeking views on what further action is needed to meet the target – but its plans to offer a revised measure of child poverty appear to have been shelved.
Consultation on the draft strategy will run until 22 May 2014, and the final strategy will be published once responses have been considered.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said: 'We restate our commitment to tackling poverty at its source – be it worklessness, family breakdown, educational failure, addiction, or debt. These are the problems that blight the lives of vulnerable families and the strategy draws together the action we are taking on all these fronts'.
The Child Poverty Action Group expressed disappointment that the strategy contained little that was likely to make a difference to the child poverty figures. Citizens Advice called the lack of action on child poverty 'unacceptable'. The Children's Society said the strategy document was a 'wasted opportunity'. Action for Children pointed out that, despite the renewed commitment to abolish child poverty, the number of children below the breadline was actually set to rise to 4.7 million by the 2020 target date.
Alongside the draft strategy, the coalition government published a 130-page evidence review looking at the drivers of child poverty.
Source: Consultation on the Child Poverty Strategy 2014-17, Cm 8782, Department for Work and Pensions, TSO | An Evidence Review of the Drivers of Child Poverty for Families in Poverty Now and for Poor Children Growing Up to Be Poor Adults, Cm 8781, Department for Work and Pensions, TSO
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