From the TUC

The Budget and Child Poverty

22 Apr 2009, by in Politics, Society & Welfare

The Budget’s new programme for unemployed young people is very welcome, and bears a certain resemblance to the TUC’s proposals for an intermediate labour market programme, but I can’t help being disappointed by the non-action on child poverty.

Like other organisations in the End Child Poverty coalition, the TUC called for a £3 billion investment in support for the 3.9 million children still living in poverty.

The scale of the Budget response was inadequate; as far as I can make out there are three items that are designed to raise children’s incomes:

  • Raising the child element of the Child Tax Credit by £20 (a year, not per week). [Paragraph 5.13 of the Budget Report.]
  • Paying an extra £100 a year to the Child Trust Fund accounts of disabled children, and £200 for severely disabled children. [Para. 5.50]
  • Making it clear that the Working Tax Credit run-on includes the childcare element. [Para. 5.14]

These are worthwhile initiatives, but nowhere do they meet the scale of what was needed. If you turn to Table A1 in the Budget Report, you’ll find that the first will cost £140 million; the second £15 million and the third £10 million. A grand total of £165 million.

Last October, together with thousands of others, I went to Trafalgar Square to take part in this country’s largest ever demonstration against child poverty in Britain. Politicians from all the parties told us how much they cared, and that we had their support.

This certainly wasn’t what I had in mind when they told us that.

I suppose it is just possible that the Chancellor will pull a rabbit out of his hat in the Pre-Budget Report this Autumn, but it seems unlikely. What seems likely is that the Government will fight the General Election having failed to hit its own target of halving the number of children in poverty.

That is why I have to agree with End Child Poverty – this Budget has failed children in poverty.

3 Responses to The Budget and Child Poverty

  1. The Budget: was it progressive? | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Apr 22nd 2009, 11:15 pm

    […] that pensions and benefits will not be cut in line with RPI deflation, for example) but the small amounts dedicated to the child tax credit were a real disappointment and a sign that the child poverty […]

  2. Robert
    Apr 28th 2009, 11:20 pm

    But as we said before and we keep saying what jobs, my area has had high unemployment even though Labour lied through it’s teeth. Labour put up on it’s site my area had 2% unemployment, the job center said it was about 23% and the council said it nearer to 40% for god sake it the lowest is close to be true I mean come on 2% to 23% spin does not work.

    To day a car parts firm said goodbye in my home town that will mean in two years we have lost twelve thousand jobs, we have made 1000 jobs with two super retails outlets. Thats paying part time wages of £5.75 the car parts firm is paying £12 a hour.

    Where do we go from here window cleaning taxi driving, all jobs I’ve been offered and I’ve no bloody legs.

    get real people New labour have lost it.

  3. Child poverty and unemployment | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    May 15th 2009, 6:04 pm

    […] and the number had actually risen slightly in the previous year. Given that the Budget announced almost no extra spending on poor children, the chances of hitting that target are […]