Child poverty in 2014

What did 2014 bring for the children living in hardship in the UK? Read the Child Poverty Action Group's round up of the year and sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date and find out how you can help:

  1. January: a bad start to the year for children as the Institute for Fiscal Studies projected significant increases in child poverty up to 2020, as our Senior Policy and Research Officer, Moussa Haddad reported:
  2. February: the Channel 4 TV series 'Benefits Street' ignited a national debate on poverty, stigma and dependency, with many labeling the show 'poverty porn' that demonised those on benefits.
  3. Shaming the poor isn't a new phenomenon, as we reported in our journal, Poverty:
  4. March: the government's Budget promised welcome help for working parents with the announcement that 85% of childcare costs will be met by Universal Credit from 2016. However, the cap on social security spending without a plan to address low pay, high rents and high childcare costs equates to levying a tax on childhood to support the government's economic plans. Here was our response to the budget:
  5. May: Our solicitor represented a family impacted by the 'bedroom tax'. Paul and Sue Rutherford care for their severely disabled grandson, Warren, and use their spare room for carers who regularly stay overnight and for storing equipment. We challenged the decision to cut their housing benefit on the basis that their spare room meant the Rutherfords were 'under-occupying' their council home.
  6. The courts dismissed the case because the shortfall was being made up by the local council - but the family are planning to fight on and seek an appeal with our support. CPAG continues to argue that families with disabled children should have the same exemption from the 'bedroom tax' as disabled adults.
  7. June: In June the government published its child poverty strategy, which sets out how the government intends to hit the target to end child poverty by 2020.
  8. Our response to the government's strategy argued that it fails to set out clear actions and milestones to set child poverty on a downward trend. Our CEO, Alison Garnham, said: "Today’s strategy isn’t good news for a generation of children that needs the government to invest in their childhoods and life chances"
  9. July: our report found that council tax rises would hit the poorest families the hardest, increasing costs by up to £385 a year at a time when wages and benefits are stagnating.
  10. August: what's the gap between the cost of raising a child and the financial means of a typical low-income family? Our 'Cost of a Child' research found working families faced a big shortfall.
  11. September: the Scottish Independence referendum was marked by a broad and vigorous debate on poverty and inequality. Following the ‘no’ vote,the Smith Commission was set up to consider which further powers might be devolved to Scotland, and CPAG Scotland gave its recommendations on how devolution could reduce child poverty in Scotland.
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