Child poverty commission – government responds

The coalition government has claimed that it is tackling the root causes of poverty by 'giving people opportunities rather than trapping them in dependency', in its response to the first annual report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

Key points

  • The coalition government says it is committed to ending child poverty and improving social mobility, through increasing access to education and training, building a simpler and fairer tax system, and ensuring that work pays.
  • The coalition government 'remains committed' to ending child poverty by 2020. It says that its draft child poverty strategy, which is currently out for consultation, achieves this by setting out a comprehensive three-year plan to lay the foundations for a new and more effective approach to poverty. Better work and education are the best ways to tackle these root causes. The strategy sets out plans to increase parental employment rates, earnings and working hours, and to decrease in-work poverty.
  • Improving social mobility continues to be the 'principal goal' of the coalition government’s social policy. It is working to remove barriers in every stage of life, to give people equal access to opportunities and help give second chances to those who need them.
  • Social mobility is about everyone fulfilling their potential, from a bright child in a poor family to a less able child in a middle-class family. The coalition government agrees with the commission that everyone should be supported to achieve their potential irrespective of their background.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: 'A growing consensus shows that the doctrine of "poverty plus a pound" failed because it provided a sticking plaster to treat the symptoms of poverty, rather than addressing its causes'.

SourceGovernment's Response to the Annual Report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Cm 8827, Department for Education, TSO
LinksResponse | Commission report | Written ministerial statement

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Publication date: 
Mar 27 2014