Leading charities back child poverty charter
By Dan Webber,
A new charter mapping out how the next government can lift at least one million UK children out of poverty by the end of the decade has been published by a national children’s charity.
The End Child Poverty (ECP) coalition’s ‘Ten For A Million’ charter calls for all political parties to commit to ten radical policies which would take a million children in the UK out of poverty and meet the Government’s pledge to halve child poverty by 2010.
Some 3.6 million children in Britain are living below the poverty line.
The charter, backed by a host of leading charities, calls on any future government to raise child benefit and extend it to pregnant women, raise the national minimum wage and take action to help individuals and minority ethnic groups overcome employment barriers.
It also claims education funding at local and national level is in need of reform to give greater weighting to poor children and to introduce school uniform grants and school activity funds for all.
End Child Poverty director, Mr Jonathan Stearn, said: ‘Charities are daily confronted by the way poverty blights children’s lives and blunts their expectations for the future.
‘More than 40 household names have come together under the End Child Poverty banner to develop ten policy proposals which, if implemented, would have a huge impact on the lives of the 3.6 million children in the UK living in poverty.
‘We have come up with ten proposals to lift one million children from the scourge of poverty. Now it is for the politicians of all parties to tell the public how they plan to tackle child poverty and end it, once and for all.’
The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), a founder member of ECP, supports the Ten For A Million charter.
CPAG chief executive and ECP trustee, Ms Kate Green, said: ‘CPAG endorses the Ten for a million charter. In our 40th year, we continue to fight the hardship that millions of low income families face.’
Other organisations backing the charter include the Children’s Society. Chief executive Bob Reitemeier said: ‘The Children’s Society is acutely aware of the impact of poverty and in particular how this affects some of the most disadvantaged children and young people including disabled children and refugee children.
‘The task is to ensure that these children are lifted out of the multiple disadvantage that they suffer; the Ten For A Million charter goes a long way towards the goal and we strongly endorse it and the need to eradicate poverty for all children.’
Shelter chief executive, Mr Adam Sampson, said: ‘Housing is one of the biggest drivers of inequality and increasingly determines a child’s chances in life.
‘Politicians must put child poverty at the heart of their manifestos and, with over one million children in Britain living in bad housing, they must also commit to ending bad housing for the next generation of children.’
Church Action on Poverty national coordinator, Niall Cooper, said: ‘It cannot be right that over three million children continue to be trapped in poverty in the fourth wealthiest nation on the planet.
‘Tackling child poverty is a moral imperative and the Ten For A Million charter shows why and how it can be done.’
Source: Community Newswire