The End Child Poverty campaign

Lesley Brennan

The  “We are the 99 per cent” movement has already focused our attention on the 1-99 divide of the wealth in society

This month, children who live in poverty in Scotland are in focus as terrible, obstinately high numbers show how many of them are disadvantaged, revealed by the End Child Poverty campaign (link )

This is not about absolute poverty where there is no money.

The poverty we are discussing here is relative poverty where the family is so impoverished that its resources are well below those needed to participate fully in   everyday life.

And that includes the working poor.

Many of these people who are struggling just to get by are people who are in work.

The previous Labour government had made progress in reducing levels of child poverty, taking 1 million of out of poverty.

In contrast, changes by the Tory-led UK Government to the welfare system as from April will reverse that progress to the extent that the Institute of Fiscal Studies estimate that the number of children in poverty will increase by some 400,000 over this current UK parliamentary term.

The Tories are seeking to divert attention from the harsh effect of their unfair welfare cuts by searching for re-definitions of poverty, away from an income-based definition to include issues such as family breakdown, drug addiction and education results.

Child Poverty Action Group offer more direct routes to reducing child poverty than new ways of measuring it .

They call for the building of more affordable homes and reducing childcare costs as essential elements in tackling child poverty.

Returning to an overview of daily life well away from the closed circle of the 1 per cent in 1-99 divide, poverty hurts.

Poverty lowers the prospect of employment opportunities, healthy lifestyles, good educational qualifications and life expectancy.

Poverty is expensive, costing the wider UK society at least £25 billion a year, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. ( link )

Poverty is the agony of parents trying to ensure that their children do not miss out on holidays, special occasions  and community events.

A caring society has as its first concern the ending of child poverty.

The best way out of poverty for these children is a good well-paid job for their parents.

End Child Poverty data

Dundee figures for each council ward >

UK figures by council  >

UK Poverty Map

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