Government announces controversial move to re-define child poverty, prompting criticism from Gingerbread.
Responding to the government’s announcement that it intends to change the child poverty measure, and to include family breakdown, Gingerbread Chief Executive Fiona Weir said:
“Family breakdown doesn’t cause child poverty. It is unaffordable childcare, low levels of maternal employment and poor wages that push families below the poverty line.
“The government is moving the goalposts – scrapping legally binding targets it is not on course to meet, rather than putting in place policies that would tackle the real causes of poverty for all families.
“We know that in many other countries, whether or not a child is growing up in a single parent or couple parent family makes little difference to their chances of falling into poverty.
“The government urgently needs to develop a robust, evidence based approach to tackling child poverty. This must tackle the real root causes, and address the fact that the majority of children growing up poor in the UK are living in families where parents are working, but not earning enough to pay the bills. Finally, it must measure the thing we all know makes the difference – how much money families have to live on.
“Further stigmatising single parent families is unhelpful and will do nothing to tackle child poverty. This government needs to get real about society today, embrace the different shapes and sizes of 21st century families and develop a proper strategy for tackling child poverty.”