Tag Archives: child poverty

Inequality “narrows” due to Liberal Democrat policies

imageAn interesting report (£)  in the Sunday Times yesterday tells how official figures show that the gap between the richest and poorest is narrowing.

While most people have suffered a squeeze on incomes since Britain was plunged into recession six years ago — and only now is the economy getting back to pre-crisis levels — those on lower incomes have done relatively better than those at the top. Households Below Average Income, an official report published last week, showed income inequality, measured after taking into account housing costs, had fallen to

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Opinion: On child poverty targets, on which I agree with David Laws

“A fair, free and open society, in which… no one shall be enslaved by poverty.”

The fundamental basis of our party’s constitution – its very soul – is the elimination of poverty. We may disagree amongst us on how best to achieve this ambitious goal, but there’s little dissent on having it as a goal, particularly when it comes to the blight of children growing up in poverty.

As Caron made clear, we find ourselves in government with a party that doesn’t share many of our values – rarely is this crystallised as starkly as this week’s battle over child poverty …

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David Laws challenges Tories on child poverty

The frustrations of being in government with the Tories are no greater than when they are concerned with issues of poverty and vulnerability. Many Liberal Democrats have ongoing concerns about welfare reforms which remove support from people who need it. However much we might try to console ourselves with the fact that we are making a difference with things like free school meals, the raising of the tax threshold, extra childcare for the poorest, an early start to education for the poorest 2 year olds and making sure that the whole country enjoys the benefits of the economic recovery and …

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Martin Horwood MP writes… 1000 days of hunger

The first thousand days of a child’s life – from conception through to their second birthday – are full of moments to cherish. First birthdays, first steps, first words. Whether these events are captured on film, or retold to maximum embarrassment in later years, they are treasured milestones in a child’s life.

A report published yesterday by UNICEF reminds us that those first thousand days aren’t only precious, they are the most critical in shaping a child’s future. Their health, their growth, their ability to learn and even their potential to earn are shaped during this period by one crucial …

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The Independent View: The determinants of child poverty

End child pverty now - Some rights reserved by RMLondonWhat do the public think are the key determinants of child poverty? New DWP polling released last week aimed to answer this question, but in fact proved anything but conclusive.

Asked to choose four out of a possible eleven factors that should be regarded as important when deciding if a child is growing up in poverty, respondents’ answers were spread remarkably evenly across the board. All the factors – from low income to parental disability, poor housing conditions to debt – were …

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Attacking child poverty – David Laws wants your views…

Child poverty in the UK is way too high. It is at unacceptable levels and has been for too long. The government is united in taking child poverty seriously and we are determined – even in difficult times – to reduce child poverty and increase opportunities.

Traditionally we have defined poverty simply by relative income. We know now that this is not sufficient. A child’s experience of poverty is about more than whether their family income this week is low.

That is why we are consulting on a new measure of poverty. The new measure is not about abandoning the past. Nor is it about massaging

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The Independent View: How David Laws can help children and the economy at the same time

When David Laws arrived as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he famously found a note from his predecessor telling him ‘there’s no money left’. With the IFS warning child poverty levels have reached a turning point and will shoot upwards again, we have to hope that any handover note left for him this time is more optimistic, particularly on improving opportunities for poor children.

As Minister for Schools, David Laws will oversee the development of the party’s flagship policy to tackle child poverty, the Pupil Premium, which Sarah Teather lists as one of her main achievements in her time

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Welcoming the report of the Child Poverty Action Group

For many years I was the child poverty champion for the Liberal Democrats. I urged leading members of our parliamentary party to sign up to the targets, which aimed to halve child poverty by 2010 and eliminate it by 2020. I was delighted when those targets were enshrined in law, with cross party support in 2010.

Even though the UK will have missed its half way target, it is expected that at least 900,000 children will have been lifted out of poverty and a similar number prevented from falling into poverty between 1998 and 2010 which is a significant achievement.

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The Independent View: Why the CSJ are wrong on child poverty

While it is true that poverty is often associated with a range of other Bad Things, from stressed out families to poor grades at school and that causation can work both ways, this does not mean that they are the exact same problems.

But when the CSJ proposed new measures of child poverty, they induced exactly this sort of confusion. Below are just two examples:

1. Unstable family structure.

The CSJ suggests that one of the new measures of child poverty should be the percentage of children growing up in married households. However, many rich families get divorced, as do many poor families. Whether …

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The Independent View: There are now two main government narratives about child poverty

It’s been said that Margaret Thatcher’s governments did two things for poverty. First they increased it. Then they pretended it did not exist. As Alan Milburn prepares to makes his first speech as the Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty on Tuesday, his task will be to help the Coalition avoid a similar, devastating, legacy.

The last government’s record was far from perfect, but Milburn should advise the Coalition to recognise the very real progress made and learn from the successes just as much as from the failings.

Some Ministers, including Lib Dems, have bizarrely trashed the last government’s

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The Independent View: Lib Dems need to champion new ideas for tackling child poverty

Figures released this week by the IFS show that the UK will witness a severe and sustained increase in child poverty over the coming decade, with almost a quarter of British children set to be living in relative poverty by 2020, compared to one fifth in 2009/10. This is despite a projected 7 per cent reduction in real terms median income over the next three years, reducing the amount of income it takes to cross the poverty line.

These figures highlight the growing gulf between the targets set out under the Child Poverty Act, which require the government to reduce …

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The Independent View: Child poverty

In 1999, the government announced that it meant to end child poverty by 2020. Making progress towards that objective is now the responsibility of the Coalition; how well is it likely to do?

Tony Blair’s pronouncement, made out of the blue at a meeting in Toynbee Hall, was a typical coup de théâtre, and it even surprised his own cabinet. It illustrated Mr Blair’s strengths – reassuring supporters who worried that new Labour had lost touch with their Party’s traditional values and at the same time neutralising critics from the other end of the spectrum. For a generation, inegalitarians had …

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Daily View 2×2: 26 January 2010

Today we say ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Special One – Jose Mourinho – who is 47, and to ice hockey’s record goalscorer Wayne Gretzky, who is two years older.

Nine years ago today, more than 25,000 people died after a massive earthquake measuring up to 7.9 on the Richter scale hit the Indian state of Gujarat and neighbouring areas in Pakistan. In 1998, US President Bill Clinton told a White House press conference “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”.

2 Big Stories

Mother aquitted in new ‘mercy killing’ trial 

Yesterday Sussex mother and former nurse Kay Gilderdale was acquitted of attempting to …

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24,000 children will die today – support our campaign

More than 8.8 million children each year – more than the population of Greater London – die before their fifth birthday. That’s 24,000 every single day. Our government, in common with governments around the world, has committed to cut the rate of deaths by two thirds by 2015. But a lack of political will and focus means that we’re well off track for hitting this target. Immediate action is needed to turn this situation around.

A report we have released today shows that ninety nine in every hundred child deaths happen in the world’s poorest developing countries. The changes that are needed to confront this challenge need to come first and foremost from within these countries. Next year, world leaders will gather to review progress on the eight UN ‘Millennium Development Goals’ for tackling poverty and its underlying causes by 2015.

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Clegg: Lib Dem Social Mobility Commission “shatters the idea that Britain in 2009 is a free and fair society”

The Lib Dem website reports that the party’s independent commission on social mobility – set up by Nick Clegg the day after he was elected leader – has published its full report:

The Independent Social Mobility Commission, set up by Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and chaired by Barnardo’s Chief Executive Martin Narey, has found that a child’s life chances are ‘dependent on the background and earnings of its parents’. The commission’s report also found that increased education funding has failed to reach those children most in need.

The report sets out recommendations for improving the opportunities of disadvantaged children and young people across six key areas: child poverty, early years, education, employment, health and communities.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 1st Aug - 1:42am
    Globalisation has meant that products once made in the Uk are now often made in Asia and services, like computer programming, once provided by UK...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 1st Aug - 1:13am
    We get a lot of these LDV "Labservatives go crazy in Little Wotting" articles. Invariably, before we can understand what is really going on, we...
  • User AvatarMatGB 1st Aug - 12:57am
    Mike, that's part of the agreement with the Tories, although they haven't agreed to it yet they have agreed to run a consultation on it.
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 1st Aug - 12:43am
    @James Brough No, the LibDems were not known as the Liberals then, nor are they the Liberals now. The Liberals still exist as a separate...
  • User AvatarMike Drew 1st Aug - 12:40am
    Why not scrap the Cabinet system and run by proportionate committees - no need to worry about joint administrations. Back in the days of Avon...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 1st Aug - 12:39am
    Clegg should have been forced out for that and for any number of other errors and betrayals. But he wasn't, because too many of us...