Campaigners Urge the UK Budget to Prioritize Investments in Children to Help Reduce Child Poverty

Credits: The Independent

John Dickie, the Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, has emphasized the critical need for government action to prevent and eradicate child poverty.

He has criticized current UK government policies for driving children into poverty and called on the Chancellor to abolish policies like the two-child limit and benefit cap.

He has also advocated for an increase in family benefits, starting with a £20 per week raise to child benefit, to support children across the UK.

In a briefing to all Westminster MPs, CPAG highlighted that over four million children are currently living in poverty in the UK, with 250,000 of them residing in Scotland.

UK Minister (Credits: Bloomberg.com)

The charity emphasized that it is unacceptable for the UK government to continue to overlook these children, as their health, education, living standards, and life chances are all at risk.

CPAG warned of ‘catastrophic’ consequences if the government fails to act, stressing that the most cost-effective way to reduce child poverty is to eliminate the two-child limit policy.

The two-child limit policy, set to affect nearly 500,000 families (1.8 million children) across the UK in April 2024, predominantly impacts families already living in poverty.

CPAG’s briefing noted that scrapping the two-child limit would lift 300,000 children out of poverty, with around 15,000 of these children living in Scotland. The charity’s call for action comes amidst growing concerns about the long-term impact of child poverty on society.

John Dickie’s plea for action is supported by a growing body of evidence showing the damaging effects of child poverty. Children growing up in poverty are more likely to experience poor physical and mental health, perform poorly in school, and face limited opportunities in adulthood.

The societal costs of child poverty are significant, with increased strain on healthcare, education, and social services. The CPAG briefing underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to tackling child poverty.

This includes not only scrapping harmful policies like the two-child limit but also increasing support for low-income families through measures such as improving child benefit.

CPAG’s proposals are aimed at providing immediate relief to families struggling with poverty while also addressing the root causes of child poverty in the UK.

John Dickie’s call for action on child poverty is a timely reminder of the urgent need to address this pressing issue. With millions of children living in poverty across the UK, the government must take decisive action to ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive.

By abolishing harmful policies and increasing support for low-income families, the UK can take a significant step towards ending child poverty and building a brighter future for all children.

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