IN THE SAME week as Comic Relief realised more than £75 million for charity, the End Child Poverty Campaign showed that pious claims by successive governments to be working to end child poverty in Britain by 2020 are no nearer fulfilment – and are really idle promises.
The slightly meaningless Tube adverts which boast “London – World Capital” have an unintended element of reality. In eight London boroughs poverty among children is as prevalent today as it was in Dickens’s time.
Tower Hamlets is the borough with the unwanted infamy of heading the list: 57 per cent of children there live in poverty. And in seven more boroughs, over a third of children are living in families below the poverty line. That’s also the case for children in Manchester and Nottingham.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies has warned that if Chancellor Osborne pursues his planned cutbacks, then the plight of children below the breadline will be exacerbated. The IoFS has forecast that the budget and benefit changes will inevitably mean that child poverty will begin to rise from 2013. ■