The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's child poverty programme explores:
- What causes child poverty in the UK?
- What range of policies, practice and behaviours will work to reduce and end child poverty?
- How effective will current policies be?
- What are the consequences of not tackling child poverty?
- The proportion of children living in poverty has risen considerably in the last 30 years. In 1968 one in ten children lived in poverty (1.4 million children). By 1995 it was one in three (4.3 million children).
- The UK has proportionally more children in poverty than most rich countries.
- All political parties have signed up to the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 and to the 2010 Child Poverty Act enshrining this in law.
- In 2010/11, 2.3 million children were living in poverty in the UK.
- This is 1,100,000 children fewer than were in poverty in 1998, and the lowest level of children living in poverty since the mid 1980s. However to have met the target set by the previous government to halve child poverty by 2010, 600,000 fewer children would have needed to be in poverty by this date.
- In addition to the human cost to families and children of allowing high levels of poverty to continue, our research estimates that child poverty costs £25 billion each year in costs to the Exchequer and reduced GDP.
- Ending child poverty requires action in a wide range of policy areas including childcare; skills; the availability, quality and flexibility of jobs; families and parenting; and benefits and tax credits.
- The UK government and the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have published child poverty strategies setting out their plans to meet the targets.
We are currently examining: