Calls to tackle rising child poverty

The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a cross-party call from politicians and researchers for an overarching national plan to tackle child poverty.

Anne Longfield said the country has reached a “tipping point” where child poverty is rising and the educational outcomes for children in poverty are getting worse – with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating these trends. 

A separate report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has revealed that people trapped in poverty in the UK before the pandemic have suffered the most financial hardship during the crisis.

The charity has urged the Government to make permanent a £20 per week rise in universal credit benefit payments – which is due to be cut from the end of March.

Responding to the JRF’s report, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “This report shows the worrying impact that COVID-19 has had on some of the most vulnerable in our communities and has pushed more people on low incomes into poverty. 

“Support for children on free school meals and the uplift in universal credit have helped to protect many families most at risk, and it is important that these continue. 

“As many households are likely to be economically vulnerable for some time to come, it is vital that the Government restores local welfare funding so councils can provide support to families who need it.”

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