Child welfare has been a feature of today’s business inside Westminster as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, made a statement in the House of Commons which outlined a new strategy for measuring child poverty.
Not surprisingly, the Conservative government feels this is a positive step, one which they say would help to identify the root causes of child poverty, however the opposition doesn’t agree and sees the move as callous and an all time low for the Nasty Party.
It’s not quite clear yet what the full impact of these new measures will be, but the likely cut in tax credits will certainly hit the poorest families and can only lead to more child poverty, and not less. Of concern too, was our discovery in May of this year that the government fully intended to redefine poverty by resetting the statutory targets already in place, in effect lowering them to make it appear as if targets are closer to being met. The jaw dropping phrase on Parliament’s website which we spotted, was this:
“If the new Government were to accept that the existing [child poverty] targets are not going to be met, it could amend the Child Poverty Act to introduce new, more realistic targets.”
We leave it to you to decide whether the government is doing the right thing when it comes to child poverty, or simply looking to slash the deficit at great cost to the nation.
Here are some interesting items on the topic:
- Statement on child poverty: 1 July 2015
- Child poverty definition to be changed
- Government scraps child poverty targets
- ‘Wrong’ – Save the Children responds to Gov’t decision to scrap child poverty targets
- Child poverty ‘at lowest level since 1980s’
- David Cameron rails against ‘absurd’ child poverty measures
- Wednesday 8 July, after 3pm: Working to eliminate child poverty and meet the 2020 statutory targets set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010 – Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Oral Question, in the chamber)