Missed opportunity to tackle child poverty

There are 4 million children living in poverty in the UK

Published on UNICEF, 9 December 2009.

… UNICEF UK and the End Child Poverty Coalition of over 150 organisations, has been calling for the Government to prioritise children in the Pre-Budget Report and commit resources to make progress towards achieving their target to eradicate UK child poverty … //

… The recession cannot be an excuse. The 4 million children living in poverty in the UK are being denied their rights, yet they are the least responsible for the financial crisis. In addition to this, child poverty is estimated to cost the exchequer £25 billion a year – far in excess of the cost of halving it – and it therefore makes financial sense to act now. 

Commenting on the Pre-Budget Report, David Bull, Executive Director of UNICEF UK, said: “Poverty is a barrier to children’s rights – their right to health, to education, to protection and to develop as individuals. Children who grow up poor are more likely to leave school without qualifications and have fewer employment opportunities. Last year, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child called on the UK Government to do more to eradicate child poverty – the Government has not taken this responsibility seriously enough.

“The failure to address child poverty in the Pre-Budget Report means that millions of children that could have been lifted out of poverty will be growing up with a poor future” … (full text).

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