Response to statement from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

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David Holmes, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition said:

“5 years ago, all the main political parties promised to act to end child poverty by 2020. Today the Government decided to pull the teeth from the Child Poverty Act, and break its promise to the millions of children who live in poverty in Britain today.

The Government has proposed to remove the current definition of poverty in the Child Poverty Act and to remove legally binding targets to reduce the number children living in low income families. By replacing them with duties to report on worklessness and poor educational attainment, the government has made the extraordinary step of no longer recognising that child poverty is, at its heart, about families not having enough money to live on.

Perhaps most importantly the government has indicated it will abandon its goal of tackling low income poverty amongst the more than two million children who live in poverty in working families. With nearly two thirds of children in poverty in working families, this simply makes no sense.

The End Child Poverty Coalition exists in order to ensure that the Government keeps the promise to end child poverty by 2020. We will continue to work with Parliamentarians to keep the Government to this goal.”


Notes to editors:

  • The latest Households Below Average Income (HBAI) report released last week, showed that in 2013-14 there were 3.7 million children living in poverty after housing costs and 2.3 million Before Housing Costs – both unchanged from the previous year.


The Campaign to End Child Poverty ( is made up of more than 150 organisations from civic society including children’s charities, child welfare organisations, social justice groups, faith groups, trade unions and others, united in our vision of a UK free of child poverty. These include Child Poverty Action Group, The Children’s Society, Family Action and the National Children’s Bureau. Its call for a ‘triple lock’ is also being supported by Children England, the leading membership organisation and collective voice for the children, young people and families voluntary sector. End Child Poverty campaigns to achieve our vision by: Ensuring the voices of families facing economic disadvantage are heard; Increasing understanding of the causes and impacts of child poverty and mobilising public support and action; Promoting to politicians and government the case for ending child poverty by 2020, the actions that will achieve it and holding them to account on the requirements of the Child Poverty Act.

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