Wednesday, February 18, 2009

UK needs to spend billions to halve child poverty

A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says the UK government needs to spend billions of dollars to halve child poverty by it's target of 2010. A new report from the foundation says that 4.2 billion dollars in tax credits is needed per year. With current funding levels the UK will miss their target by 600,000 children.

The Guardian newspaper details the report in this Press Association story.

The research predicts that the number of children in poverty will fall to 2.3 million by 2010, missing the target of 1.7 million set by former prime minister Tony Blair in 1999.

The recession may not increase the number of children living in poverty, the report suggests, but many will find themselves further below the poverty line as a result of increased unemployment.

The report said: "Overall, it is possible that recession will bring a net increase in children's hardship even though it does not raise the child poverty total. This is likely to raise the cost of tackling child poverty, since it is more difficult to lift children out of severe poverty."

Research carried out for the report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) said it would cost £4.2 billion a year to tackle the problem by raising the child element of child tax credit by £12.50 a week more than currently planned.

Failing to meet the 2010 target will make it more difficult to reach the 2020 goal of eradicating child poverty.

Report author Donald Hirsch said: "The challenge in a recession will be to build on the progress already made in reducing child poverty.

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