David Cameron has started work on changing the definition child poverty …reports Asian Lite
The Tory Government in its Manifesto had stated ‘to eliminate child poverty and introduce better measures to drive real change in children’s lives, by recognising the root causes of poverty: entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency.’
The Prime Minister chaired discussions about a new definition at a meeting of his Cabinet.
Under the current definition, a child is considered to be in poverty if it lives in a household where the total income is 60 per cent of the national average.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies forecasting an increase from 2.3 million to 2.5 million children in poverty – the first rise for 10 years, reports The Daily Telegraph.
.The Tories’ manifesto commits the Government “to eliminate child poverty and introduce better measures to drive real change in children’s lives, by recognising the root causes of poverty: entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency”.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the Cabinet discussed delivering on this manifesto commitment by considering “how do you have the right measures in place to drive real change in in children’s lives by addressing the root causes of poverty?”
Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister, and Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pension secretary, led a conversation on whether the government was using the “right” measures.
The spokesman said “He wants this Government to focus more on tackling the causes of some of the issues, rather than just treating the symptoms.”
Cameron said that the current definition was part of a wider problem of ignoring the causes and instead treating the “symptoms” of social problems Britain faced, the reports adds.
He said: “Just take the historic approach to tackling child poverty. Today, because of the way it is measured, we are in the absurd situation where if we increase the state pension, child poverty actually goes up.”
Cameron said “the right track” for public policy would be “to recognise the causes of stalled social mobility and a lack of economic opportunity. Family breakdown. Debt. Addiction. Poor schools. Lack of skills. Unemployment.”
Labour set at target of abolishing child poverty completely by 2020. The numbers below the official breadline fell from 3.4 million in 1998-99 to 2.3 million in 2010-11.