Falling pensioner poverty should be celebrated, but children face increasingly insecure future

Responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies report, Living Standards, Poverty and Inequality in the UK: 2015–16 to 2020–21, showing absolute pensioner poverty is forecast to fall to 10.8% by 2020, Helen Barnard, head of analysis at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), said:

“The dramatic fall in pensioner poverty is one of the greatest public policy achievements of our time. It shows what we can be done with an effective set of policies, political commitment, sustained focus and resource beyond the lifetime of one parliament.

“But plans to reduce poverty cannot be restricted to one age group and we need to rethink how we best target scarce resources on those in greatest need. The extremely concerning forecasts for the increase in absolute child poverty by 2020 demonstrates the urgent need for a comprehensive strategy to sustainably reduce poverty across all ages.

“The UK has the potential to become a more prosperous country, with economic security for all. To achieve this, Government, business, the markets and communities need to work together to boost incomes and reduce costs, otherwise we risk protecting one generation at the expense of another.”