Child poverty strategy consultation response

In response to today's announcement on the child poverty strategy consultation, Chris Goulden, Head of Poverty Research, at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), said:

We welcome today’s renewed focus on tackling child poverty and the consideration of new indicators for the government to measure its progress on reducing poverty.

"However, given that it has been over a year since the initial consultation on child poverty measures, we are disappointed that the government is now going to take even longer to agree what those indicators will be.

"For over 15 years JRF has measured multiple indicators of poverty – we know that this is the only way to show whether things are getting better for the poorest children in the UK. We know that there are many other contributing factors, such as health and education, which contribute to life-chances and outcomes, but it is essential that relative income remains one of the key measures of child poverty.

"With one in four families expected to be in poverty by 2020, a renewed strategy to address child poverty is vital. Any effective strategy should be based on evidence and contain measures to reduce the cost of living and improve family incomes. However, until those measures are agreed, it is difficult to see how the government can move forward."