1999 Tony Blair announces eradication of child poverty by 2020 Strategy Manage economy to maximise employment Make work pay – minimum wage, child benefit, tax credits Improve out of work benefits for families with children Invest in health, education, childcare Targets and monitoring
Positive record (Before the recession) employment at record levels Lone parent employment up 44-57% OECD “Growing unequal” UK, Belgium, Italy and Hungary only countries in EU with reduction in child poverty 1995-2005 Moved up the EU league table – even better on poverty gaps and deprivation Massive extra investment + Euros 5000 for bottom quintile families 1.7 million more poor children without it
Faults in strategy Awful starting point Too little too late Child poverty rate still double 1979 Missed 5 year and 10 year targets Too reliant on employment Half of poor children have a working parent Children in workless households highest in EU Out of work benefits way below poverty threshold Failed to find the means –cf £5 billion to meet 2010 target £20 billion to RBS Public support suspect
Future Recession – social protection better but not poverty proof Policies in the pipe-line – 600,000 more children lifted out of poverty Institutional transformation Child Poverty Bill – targets for 2020, published strategy, Child Poverty Commissioner, All Party Support Key is how will government respond to the deficit Wait for General Election
Final Fact Goldman Sachs bonus pool for 2009= $23 billion About twice as much as is needed to reach the 2010 child poverty target
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