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.