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Report highlights lack of progress in meeting child poverty targets, 20/10/14 [W/E/S/NI]

The UK Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (SMCPC) has published a report on the state of child poverty and social progress across the UK.

The report highlights the lack of progress in reaching targets for reducing child poverty levels by 50% by 2020, which were put in place in 2010.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission fears that the UK is becoming a divided country, with living standards falling and the link between hard work and reward broken by housing and welfare reforms. The report makes a number of recommendations including re-establishing the link between economic growth and incomes, and ensuring young people, in particular those from disadvantaged groups, are not left behind as the economy begins to grow again.

The report concludes that previous targets will now not be met, and makes further recommendations on supplementary goals for reducing child poverty.

Catriona Williams OBE, a Commissioner on the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission says ‘this thorough and objective report highlights the urgency of focussing on the young to ensure that they have better and not worse opportunities to reach their full potential than their parents.  Society as a whole needs them to thrive.

The SMCPC Annual Report laid before the UK Parliament this morning draws attention to the fact that Wales has very high levels of absolute child poverty (24%) and that 100,000 children are in relative poverty.

There are some particular comments on Wales as well as praise for programmes such as Flying Start which the Commission suggested last year should be accessible to more children in poverty. The increased Welsh Government investment in Flying Start and outreach work is particularly welcomed but the Commission recommends its further extension to all families in need. The importance of investing in the early years for children’s educational attainment is a major theme.’

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  1. The report, State of the Nation 2014  can be downloaded from the webpage of the Commission: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/state-of-the-nation-2014-report-published
  2. Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for third sector, statutory, independent and professional organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. www.childreninwales.org.uk. Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, disabled children and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.  Children in Wales has offices in Cardiff and Caernarfon.
  3. The Social Mobility and Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission is an advisory non-departmental public body. It monitors the progress of government and others in improving social mobility and reducing child poverty in the United Kingdom. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/social-mobility-and-child-poverty-commission
  4. For further information, please contact Catriona Williams on 02920 342434 or email catriona.williams@childreninwales.org.uk.