UK children’s commissioners have said the government should end its planned cuts to benefits to prevent more young people falling into poverty.
The commissioners for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland said child poverty was “unacceptably high”.
In a report to the United Nations, they said government austerity measures had failed to protect the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
Ministers said relative poverty was at the lowest level since the mid-1980s reports BBC.
The commissioners’ review of government policies since 2008 comes a week before Chancellor George Osborne delivers a Budget in which he is expected to set out further details of proposals to cut £12bn from the welfare bill.
Their report highlights the policies adopted by the coalition government in response to the global financial crisis, as well as the expected cuts under the new Conservative administration.
“The best interests of children were not central to the development of these policies and children’s views were not sought,” the report said.
“Reductions to household income for poorer children as a result of tax, transfer and social security benefit changes have led to food and fuel poverty, and the sharply increased use of crisis food bank provision by families.”
The commissioners said poorer children were living in inadequate housing in some parts of the UK because of insufficient affordable homes.