The Child Poverty Act has committed present and future British governments to eradicate child poverty by 2020. Evidence released by the HM Revenue and Customs based upon analysis of families in receipt of means tested benefits or tax credits indicates that child poverty still remains at high levels across Britain.
Some 30 per cent of London’s children live in poverty; 21 per cent is the average across England. Glasgow has the highest in Scotland at 34 per cent; Derry and Belfast both record rates of 35 per cent. The figures are based on 2009 data and have not changed greatly since 2007.
The greatest contributory factor to child poverty is unemployment: parents not having a job. The analysis of 2011 child poverty due in 2013 will show a significant hike in child poverty due to the Coalition’s “austerity” measures. These will see a massive cut in housing benefit expected to hit 8 million homes and other cuts in means tested benefits.
Some 120,000 public sector workers have lost their jobs since July 2011, predominantly lower-paid women, with an estimated 600,000 public sector jobs to be scrapped during 2011-15.Eradicate child poverty by 2020? Not under capitalism. ■