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'600,000 more UK children' in absolute poverty since Coalition came to power

Milburn warned that the increase in the number of children enduring 'absolute poverty' in the UK was only going to increase. Credit: Reuters

By Libby Wiener: Political Correspondent

Some 600,000 more children in Britain are in 'absolute poverty' than when the Coalition came to power, the Government's adviser on social mobility has warned.

And he says by 2020 things may have got worse not better.

Speaking to ITV News after the publication of his second annual report, Mr Milburn said:

2020, which should have marked the end of child poverty in our country, will be the first time, the end of the first decade since records began when absolute levels of child poverty rose rather than fell.

That in my view is a disaster for our country. I don't think people want to live in a divided Britain, they want to live in a genuinely United Kingdom.

– Alan Miliburn

Some of the key facts he points to are that:

  • Five million people, mostly women were in low paid, dead end jobs earning less than the living wage
  • Home ownership among the young has halved over the last 20 years

He also said that among the 4,000 most influential people in Britain, those who are privately educated dominate; they included 70% of judges, 60% of senior military officers, 50% of Whitehall permanent secretaries, a third of the Cabinet, and a fifth of the Shadow Cabinet.