Select Committee on Work and Pensions Second Report

Report highlights

*  Child poverty is still a major problem: 3.6 million children live in poverty.

*  The Government's target of reducing child poverty by a quarter by 2004 is likely to be met.

*  Meeting subsequent targets (reduction of child poverty to a half by 2010 and eradicating it by 2020) will be much more challenging since the achievement of those targets will involve helping those who are most disadvantaged.

*  In order to halve child poverty the poorest families - measured on the after housing costs basis - require an extra £10 per week, per child.

*  A major contribution to meeting the targets is employment, which in turn necessitates even more availability of affordable childcare, on top of that already announced by Government.

*  Accessible and affordable childcare available to all by 2010 should be the government's goal.

*  The government should ensure child poverty is a much more high profile objective set in the context of the commitment to a fairer society. A roadmap of progress towards meeting the 2010 target is required.

*  The national anti-poverty strategy must reach beyond raising incomes and address the human dimension of poverty, thus boosting children's life chances.

*  Concerted action is recommended to help:

§  parents with disabilities; and

§  parents of children with disabilities; and

§  minority ethnic parents; and

§  lone parents

move into employment

*  The Government should increase its attempts to tackle child poverty via all Departments whose responsibilities touch on child poverty.

*  Anti-poverty policies should be mainstreamed across all geographic areas - not just the 20% most deprived Wards.

*  A full list of conclusions and recommendations is at page 92.

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Prepared 23 April 2004