UN Poverty Rappporteur's findings are a wake up call, says CPAG

By agency reporter
November 17, 2018

On Friday 16 November 2018, the UN Speacial Rapporteur for extreme poverty and human rights reported the preliminary findings of his mission to the UK.

Responding, Child Poverty Action Group Chief Executive Alison Garnham said: “The Rapporteur’s findings should be a wake-up call for government.   Child poverty isn’t only happening elsewhere,  it’s here in the UK and it’s rising.  It’s in families where parents can’t work because of illness or disability but mostly it’s in families who work for low wages while costs are rising.  Wherever you are in the UK, you are never far from seeing the impact of poverty and austerity policies on the most vulnerable.

“Teachers report working with children who look ‘grey’ from lack of nourishment. Doctors talk about not being able to discharge well children from hospital, because of unsuitable housing conditions at home. The question that arises now is will Ministers open their eyes to the impact of austerity policies and their ears to the advice they’ve been given – by many organisations – on how to tackle poverty?   

“The key drivers of rising child poverty are clear.   The failure to uprate working-age benefits with inflation, the restriction of in- and out-of-work benefits to two children per family, the benefit cap, the cuts to universal credit, have all reduced the income of families with children more than any other group across the population.   And there’s worse to come as the four-year benefits freeze and two-child limit take their full effect.

“Rhetoric about burning injustices isn’t enough.  The poverty that the Rapporteur has reported is not inevitable in the UK today. We now need a strategy with targets to eradicate poverty – the UK’s children deserve nothing less.”

* Read the Special Rapporteur's statement here

* Child Poverty Action Group http://www.cpag.org.uk/

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