Posts Tagged ‘child poverty’

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The worst child poverty rate in the UK


Essex’s annual public health report has revealed that Tendring has the worst rate of child poverty in the county. The rate is still increasing at the highest rate.

The latest statistics show 23.5 per cent of children in the district are living in poverty, a rise of 2 per cent: See the report


Tendring also has the 2nd highest proportion of older people in the East of England (behind North Norfolk); with over 25% of residents over the age of 65 (the England average is 16%).

See the summary report


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To work or not to work:

this is the question.

“Childcare costs are back in the news, with two reports showing that parents can find it too expensive to work. Save the Children have identified that those on the lowest earned incomes are worst hit because they either have to cut back on other essentials to pay for childcare or go in to debt. In their Family Finances report Aviva insurance have found that Childcare costs are stopping mothers working. The number of women opting to look after their children instead of doing paid employment increased by 32,000 in last year.


At the same time 4Children have identified that one in ten breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs look set to close during the next school year and many others face uncertainty due to rising costs and pressure on parental incomes.


Without local childcare that they can trust and can afford many parents find it impossible to work. Local and national government needs to support parents by ensuring that there is good quality childcare in every community at prices people can afford. One way would be to make sure that Universal credit is developed with a sensible approach to dealing with the real cost of childcare.

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Liz Sewell

of  Take threedays

Comment from yesMinister

The Coalition government to reconsider the proposed cuts to childcare allowances for low income families.

In October’s Spending Review to that:

 “we will return the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit to its previous 70% level.”

From April 6th nearly half a million families earning less than £30,000 per year will lose c£1560 per year in tax credits. Currently, families can claim 80% of the cost of childcare up to £300 for couples with two or more children and £175 for single parent families. The cut to 70%, means that many families will lose £30 per week.

See spending Review 

See working Tax credits detail



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The government is to face a legal challenge to its welfare reforms after Child Poverty Action Group announced it has issued proceedings for judicial review.

The charity has argued that changes to housing benefit due to come into force next month, will make large areas off limits to the poor; restrictions include;

  • Restriction of maximum household size to four bedrooms,
  • Caps on the amount of housing benefit a household can receive: capped at £400 a week for a four-bedroom home and £340 for a three-bedroom property.

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Douglas Alexander’s New Consensus on Poverty

Douglas Alexander, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said in a speech to the Child Poverty Action Group AGM:  “Simplifying the benefits system might have its advantages” but “we have to reaffirm that inequality in our economy and our society matters”.

He stated that he was looking forward to campaigning and working with the CPAG, who he said was a ‘leading voice’, in challenging the Government, adding that Labour were ready to work to build a new consensus on poverty whenever the opportunity arises and to check against delivery. Mr Alexander gave one example mentioned: “a Parliamentary answer the Government gave today admitted that the hundreds of thousands of children they have said will be taken out of poverty by universal credit is only a figure pencilled in for 2018.


“I’ll judge the Government’s proposals on their merits and support reforms, like benefit simplification or the Work Programme that can help achieve progressive goals.”

There are four building blocks for a new consensus on poverty:


  • Work remains the best route out of poverty. Raising the lone parent employment rate to 75 per cent would take half a million children out of poverty.
  • Social mobility is crucial, it’s driven by education and it’s the early years that matter most.
  • We have to reaffirm that inequality in our economy and our society matters. The New Policy Institute study earlier this week, found that about half of the children growing up in poverty do so despite the fact that at least one of their parents goes out to work. For that reason, Ed Miliband is right to be advocating the living wage.
  • Poverty isn’t experienced by atomised individuals acting as totally independent economic agents. Poverty is endured by families and to communities – and building relationships and supporting families are central to any sustained assault on poverty. Have to be aware of the impact the private economy and public policy are having on the quality of family relationships. Isolation and lack of community are vital determinants in persistent child poverty.

To read Douglas Alexander’s speech click here

Jason McGee-Abe


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