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‘Discrimination and disadvantage: Narrowing the gap.’

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Presentation on theme: "‘Discrimination and disadvantage: Narrowing the gap.’"— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘Discrimination and disadvantage: Narrowing the gap.’
Hilary Fisher 1

2 “The children and young people most likely to experience inequalities have one core thing in common: poverty. The impact of growing up in poverty is well documented: it not only affects the quality of childhood but is a key determinant of outcomes in adulthood. Any strategy to improve social mobility must address the challenge of child poverty.” Report from the Independent Commission on Social Mobility, January 2009

3 Impact of Child Poverty
Health Education Housing Born smaller (200g lighter than richest fifth) higher risk of infant mortality (1/2 times) Have bad diets, poor health, and shorter lives - 5 times more likely to die in an accident, 15 times more likely to die in a fire at home Adults who suffered poverty as children are 50% more likely to have life limiting illnesses Show a lower level of attainment by 2 years and leave school at 16 with fewer qualifications 1 in year olds are not in education, employment or training 1 million children (1 in 7) are growing up homeless or in bad housing, impacting on their health and schooling

4 Those at greatest risk of poverty
52% 81% 42% 38% 61% 56% 63% 30 % Children with lone parents Children without a parent in work Children in large families (3 or more children) Children in families with one or more disabled member Children living in local authority housing Black – non Caribbean Pakistani/ Bangladeshi children All children   Households Below Average Income 2006/07

5 Child poverty and disability
There are approximately 770,000 disabled children in the UK Strong correlation between disability, low income and social exclusion On both income (25%) and material deprivation (93%) measures families with disabled children have a greater risk of poverty, some live in severe poverty Families face two major problems: Barriers to employment, especially adequate, affordable childcare Increased cost of caring for disabled child, three times as much

6 Child poverty and gender
Women and children have a significant increased risk of poverty than men Having a child puts women at risk of poverty Four out of ten poor children live in households headed by a single mother 29% of women and 16.1% of men are in low paid work The household income, which measures poverty, is not always shared equally Three out of ten poor children live in households where the father is in employment but the mother has low or no income

7 Child poverty and race There are more White children in poverty (78%) but a greater proportion of people from ethnic minority groups live in poverty: 48% of Black or Black British households 56% for Black non-Caribbean children 63% in Pakistani and Bangladeshi children Compared with 27% of White children In work rates of poverty higher: 54% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi children 12 % of White children Level of take up of benefits lower

8 The Progress 600,000 children lifted out of poverty - but since 2005 child poverty has risen by a 200,000 Child poverty a priority of PM - set up DCSF and a cross departmental Child Poverty Unit Main political parties support the 2020 eradication target 2008 budget - £1bn investment to eradicate child poverty PBR brought forward increase spending on tax credits and child benefits 2009 – introduced New Opportunities - White Paper on social mobility which includes a proposed socio economic public duty 2009 – introduced consultation on legislation to enshrine child poverty target

9 Government propose Socio economic duty: Child Poverty duty:
Strategic, targeted at central departments and selected key public authorities Ensure that identifying and addressing socioeconomic inequalities part of planning, commissioning and resourcing of services But will the light touch proposed be strong enough to be effective? How will it impact on fiscal measures? Child Poverty duty: Three options: 1: a duty on LAs to promote action to tackle child poverty 2: a duty on all local public bodies to have regard to child poverty when exercising functions 3: require local authorities to set a specific local child poverty target With a target of between 5 and 10%

10 Public attitudes to poverty
“Poverty? It’s just a lie the Left uses to destroy the middle class” Peter Hitchens' Mail on Sunday “Public attitudes to benefits system have hardened substantially and support for redistribution has declined since 1997.” Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, February 2009 Most people don’t think poverty exists, just inequality, where it is recognised it is seen as: “an inevitable reality of modern life” due to laziness or lack of willpower Without public support for increased spending eradicating child poverty will be very hard

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