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Plymouth Trades Union Council

Government must take radical action to hit child poverty targets

Wednesday 18th March 2009 was the 10th Anniversary of the Government’s commitment to halve child poverty. It has failed miserably. At least 3 million children in Britain live in poverty – a complete disgrace in a country with the fifth largest economy in the world, and 5 times the wealth of 30 years ago. The gap between rich and poor is wider than when Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, and recent research by the Joseph Rowntree Trust found that the children in families with income in the top quarter shared no common experiences, life chances or points of reference to those of our children in the poorest quarter of the population. Such inequality represents a deep and growing oppression that is causing division, alienation and social strife.

picture representing child sadness As the recession bites, an investment of at least £3 billion would provide a vital timely and targeted injection into families in our poorest communities who are hardest hit. Without this £3 billion in the forthcoming Budget the Government will be 700,000 children short of its target to halve child poverty by 2010. This £3 billion represents less than 0.5% of the tax payers money currently being given to banks and bankers to keep them profitable.

Ten years ago Tony Blair pledged to halve the number of children living in poverty in the UK by 2010. The clock is ticking and that promise is still far from being realised. Brown’s Government needs to take radical action now.

The TUC is a member of the End Child Poverty coalition. We want to see a bold Budget in April with at least £3 billion to be invested in ending child poverty, to prove the Government is serious about creating a fairer society for us all.

parent & child on rundown estate
Child with Stop Smacking sign The Campaign to End Child Poverty includes children's and other charities, social justice groups, faith groups, trade unions, businesses and many others concerned about the unacceptably high levels of child poverty in the UK who are working together for change.


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