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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

Poverty in the UK

Responding to the publication of a new report on poverty in the UK by Prof. Philip Alston on behalf of the United Nations, Rachel Dickinson, ADCS President, said:

“We welcome Professor Alston’s impactful report which shines a light on disgraceful levels of child poverty and describes the bleak reality for many. An estimated four million children live in poverty in this country today, the majority are from working families. This is soon set to exceed five million. Behind these appalling statistics are vulnerable children and young people who are going to school hungry and unable to learn. Families are being forced to make tough decisions every day between eating or keeping warm and are unable to play a full part in our society.

“Local authorities are ambitious about improving children and families’ lives and outcomes, but our ability to do this is being impeded by a 50% reduction in our budgets and rising levels of need in communities. We are increasingly using money from reserves or diverting funding away from resources and assets our communities rely on, such as children’s centres, youth services and libraries, which provide a safety net for children and families before their problems reach crisis point. It’s a vicious cycle.

“Poverty damages childhoods; it damages life chances; and it damages the future economic prosperity of our country. We cannot go on as we are, the stakes are too high. A national focus on tackling both the symptoms and root causes of poverty is long overdue, we urge government to lead this endeavour from the front as a matter of urgency. We need a cross party, cross departmental strategy that extends beyond a single parliamentary term. If we do nothing we will look back in shame.”

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