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The Government has announced controversial plans to tackle child poverty. They want to move away from the previous Labour government's focus on relative household income as an indicator of child poverty and use a "multidimensional" measure.
ITV News Correspondent Sally Biddulph reports:
Schools minister David Laws told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that to get policy right, "you have to measure child poverty in a sensible way".
Mr Laws said the aim needed to be about taking people out of poverty in the long term and "not just maintaining them on means-tested benefits".
Iain Duncan Smith will today say that "meaningful and accurate" measures on child poverty will replace "arbitrary" household income targets. Daybreak's Gregg Easteal reports:
How is poverty currently measured
Officially, any household which has an income of less than 60 per cent of the median income, is classed as living in poverty.
What is the government proposing
The Government is launching a consultation looking at how it should measure poverty in the future.
Ministers are considering using measures including health, education, family breakdown, addiction and worklessness which they say will give a more accurate picture of families living in poverty.
Iain Duncan Smith will accuse Labour of leaving the root causes of poverty "unchecked" and failing to "break the cycle of disadvantage", despite spending £171 billion on tax credits.
Iain Duncan Smith will use the example that, according to latest figures, 300,000 children have been moved out of relative poverty on the current measure.
But that was due to the median income nationally falling rather than to any improvement in circumstances for those children.
He will say: "For the 300,000 children no longer in poverty according to the official statistics, life was no different".
Child poverty imposes costs on broader society – estimated to be at least £25 billion a year - Child Poverty Action Group have said.
Governments forgo prospective revenues as well as commit themselves to providing services in the future if they fail to address child poverty in the here and now, they say.
Child poverty reduced dramatically between 1998/9-2010/12 when 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty.
Under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise from 2012/13 with an expected 300,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16.
This upward trend is expected to continue with 4.2 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020.
- There are 3.6 million children living in poverty in the UK today. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four, Child Poverty Action Group have said.
- There are even more serious concentrations of child poverty at a local level: in 100 local wards between 50 and 70 per cent of children are growing up in poverty.
- Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a household where at least one member works.
- Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends.
Latest ITV News reports
It's no secret that the Government is struggling to end child poverty. But Labour also found it difficult.