Political will and proper plan needed to stem the rising tide of child poverty

Responding to the report by Alan Milburn’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission on rising child poverty, Chris Goulden, Head of Poverty Research at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), said:

“The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission is right to sound the alarm bell on rising child poverty.

“In-work poverty is an inconvenient truth for politicians – affecting more than half of all households in poverty - and the safety net on offer to those who fall on hard times is increasingly threadbare.

“As the SMCP recognises in its report, forecasts for JRF show that one in four families will be living in absolute poverty by 2020, thanks to our insecure and low-paid jobs market and cuts to welfare.

“Poverty is risky, wasteful and costly at a time when our economy is looking to recover. Even at a time when resources are scarce, steps can be taken to reduce hardship faced by millions of families.

“This means getting to grips with low wages by paying the Living Wage and dealing with the rising cost of essentials, as well as offering affordable and quality childcare and improved work incentives under Universal Credit.

“We need a comprehensive strategy to address the underlying causes of poverty - but we also need to see political will to make it a reality.”