The UK Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (SMCPC) has published a report on the state of child poverty and social progress across the UK.
The report highlights the lack of progress in reaching targets for reducing child poverty levels by 50% by 2020, which were put in place in 2010.
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission fears that the UK is becoming a divided country, with living standards falling and the link between hard work and reward broken by housing and welfare reforms. The report makes a number of recommendations including re-establishing the link between economic growth and incomes, and ensuring young people, in particular those from disadvantaged groups, are not left behind as the economy begins to grow again.
Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Commission said: “The circumstances are so different, the challenges are so great that the old ways of thinking and acting that have dominated public-policy making for decades will simply not pass muster. What worked in the past will not serve as an adequate guide for the future. A new agenda is needed.”
The report concludes that previous targets will now not be met, and makes further recommendations on supplementary goals for reducing child poverty.
Catriona Williams OBE, Chief Executive of Children in Wales, coordinator of the UK Alliance for Investing in Children, said ‘this thorough and objective report highlights the urgency of focussing on the young to ensure that they have better and not worse opportunities to reach their full potential than their parents. Society as a whole needs them to thrive.”
The SMCPC Annual Report laid before the UK Parliament this morning draws attention to the fact that 3.5 million children are living in relative poverty in the UK.
The UK Alliance for Investing in Children will be holding a national UK Conference on child poverty: Investing in Children – Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage, on 16th December in Cardiff. For more information and to book onto this event, please visit Children in Wales’ website.
The report, State of the Nation 2014 can be downloaded from the webpage of the Commission.
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission is an advisory non-departmental public body. It monitors the progress of government and others in improving social mobility and reducing child poverty in the United Kingdom.
Download the statement here.