Government's child poverty plans 'doomed to failure'

The Government's plans to end child poverty are doomed to failure, its adviser on social mobility has warned as new estimates revealed the UK will be home to 3.5 million poor children by 2020.

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Call for all political parties to tackle child poverty

The Government's adviser on social mobility has called on politicians from all parties to work together and combat child poverty after new estimates warned the UK will be home to 3.5 million poor children in 2020.

The Government's adviser on social mobility Alan Milburn. Credit: Matthew Fearn/PA Archive

Alan Milburn said: "Willing the ends without the means today merely becomes a broken promise tomorrow. Across the political spectrum, party leaders now need to come clean about what they plan to do to hit the targets, or what progress they can deliver if they expect to fall short."

A report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission concluded there were positives in the Government's strategy in tackling child poverty, including the extension of childcare support for low-income families and a greater acknowledgement of the problem of working poverty than before.

However, it criticised a lack of any clear measures to assess progress and the absence of a detailed plan covering what needs to happen to jobs, wages and benefits to ensure poverty goes down.

Britain's plan to end child poverty 'doomed' to fail

Britain's plan to end child poverty is "doomed" to fail with the UK set to be home to 3.5 million poor children by 2020, the government's adviser on social mobility warned.

Britain's plan to end child poverty is "doomed". Credit: PA

The Government's draft strategy for the next three years on tackling child poverty was a "missed opportunity" and fell short of what is needed to stop the numbers rising, a report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, chaired by former health secretary Alan Milburn said.

It was a "farce" and "particularly lamentable" that ministers had been unable to agree on how to measure poverty after rubbishing existing measures, Mr Milburn added.

The former Labour MP said: "The Government's approach falls far short of what is needed to reduce, yet alone end child poverty in our country.

"Our new research shows that the gap between the objective of making child poverty history and the reality is becoming ever wider."

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