Date Published: 8 May 2009

New UK child poverty statistics show need for urgent action

UNICEF UK has responded to new figures on child poverty by saying that it is appalling that such inequality persists in the UK. Rather than improving, the situation of our poorest children is in fact getting worse.

The Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics for 2007/8 measure the number of children living in households with below 60 per cent of the median UK income. They show that there has been an increase of 0.1 million children living below this threshold in the UK, after housing costs. Moreover, the number of children lifted out of poverty since 1998/99 has fallen from 600,000 to 500,000. Ten years ago the Government committed to eradicating child poverty. These figures show that progress has stalled.

In October 2008, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child called for the UK Government to fulfil its obligation under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child by committing the "maximum extent of available resources" to lift UK children out of poverty.

Sadly these figures again reiterate the need for the Government to take urgent action to meet that obligation.

These are not just statistics; they are real children and real families and poverty is damaging them. As a members of the Campaign to End Child Poverty we are calling on the Government to do more and while we welcome the forthcoming child poverty legislation it will be meaningless without the moral purpose to invest in families suffering now,” said Jenifer Commin, Policy and Parliamentary Officer at UNICEF UK.


Source: UNICEF Main Website.
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