Child Poverty Action Group deplores 'unfair' spending review

By staff writers
21 Oct 2010

The campaigning Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has declared the government's spending review "worryingly short-sighted and profoundly unfair."

The comments came in the aftermath of the CSR, announced in parliament on 20 October 2010 by the Chancellor George Osborne, with the backing of the Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and the Liberal Democrat deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of CPAG said the spending review cuts "will almost certainly add to, rather than reduce, child poverty and puts the government dangerously on course to miss its own targets to end child poverty by 2020."

She added: “It was good to hear the Chancellor say the Government remains committed to ending child poverty but there’s nothing today about how this will be done or how many children actually will be lifted out of poverty by 2015."

Ms Garnham said: “Rather than saving money, the impact of these continued raids on the family budgets of the most vulnerable will mean higher public spending bills in the future as the costs of damaged life chances, social failure and economic underachievement mount up. We will all pay a price for leaving children in poverty.”

On additional welfare changes, she commented: “The additional £560 million funding for the child element of tax credits is welcome but represents only one-fifth of the £2.5 billion savings in Child Benefit and for many families, this gain will be a small consolation and be dwarfed by the much bigger cuts to housing, out-of-work and disability benefits, totaling £18 billion.

“The employment and support allowance change is especially worrying and unfair. People who have paid their national insurance contributions for many years are now being told that if they cannot work due to illness or an accident they may lose their benefit after a year.”

Regarding with childcare costs, the CPAG Chief Executive says: “Given the Prime Minister’s commitments to being the most family-friendly country in Europe and to helping parents get into work, the reduction in help with childcare costs in tax credits is counter-productive and makes it harder for families with children [to] get into work and make work pay.”

Lastly, on child benefit, Ms Garnham declares: “We’re pleased that there are no new proposals today to restrict child benefit further but disappointed that the controversial plans already announced are still on the table. This simple to understand and administer benefit has been incredibly effective at reaching the poorest children and helping to prevent poverty precisely because of recent investments in its value and its universal nature."

More from the Child Poverty Action Group: http://www.cpag.org.uk/

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