It's about hope: Gordon Brown marks 50 years of CPAG

The ex PM spoke on child poverty in the UK, the government's cuts to tax credits and how millennials are the 'new poverty generation'.

  1. 2015 is CPAG's 50th anniversary. We were set up in 1965 by a group of academics and social workers concerned about the rising but invisible issue of family poverty in the UK. Today, we're just as worried: child poverty is set to increase sharply at the same time as the government scraps targets to measure and eliminate it. We invited Gordon Brown to give a speech on child poverty over the last 50 years and today.
  2. While Mr. Brown came out strongly against the Chancellor's planned cuts to tax credits in today's Guardian, another former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, also called for a more compassionate and measured attitude towards those in need of support from social security.
  3. Our Chief Executive Alison Garnham introduced Mr Brown by arguing that while poverty is real, it isn't inevitable.
  4. Mr Brown sharply condemned cuts to tax credits, saying that they are the most cost-effective way to reduce poverty.
  5. He exposed eight myths on poverty, including the idea that most poor people are unemployed: the majority of poor children live in stable working households.
  6. On the 'welfare bill' - single biggest item of expenditure is pensions, while spending on unemployment makes up only 1.5%.
  7. Meanwhile, benefits like child benefit have failed to keep up with the cost of living, meaning families find it harder and harder to make ends meet.
  8. Brown talked about the impact of low pay, and how even parents working very long hours will find it impossible to life themselves out of poverty without extra support.
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