Welfare isn’t working: child poverty

Document type
Field, Frank; Cackett, Ben
Date of publication
1 June 2007
Social Policy, Children and Young People, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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In 1999, Tony Blair announced a historic mission to abolish child poverty within 20 years. The second report in Frank Field series showed that progress on child poverty had stalled despite extra spending equivalent to a 4p cut in the basic rate of tax , on increased benefits and tax credits for families with children. But, despite this huge expenditure, the Labour Government missed the 2004-05 target and, in 2005-06, child poverty actually increased. A new strategy was urgently needed which would:

  • cease discriminating against two parent working families;
  • as a result, cease discriminating against single parents who re-partner and thereby encouraged single parents to declare their existing partnerships;
  • increase incentives to work for potential second earners;
  • improve education outcomes at the bottom end to prevent intergenerational poverty; and
  • make effective the child support system.

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