Nearly one-quarter of British children will be living in poverty by the year 2020, a new report has predicted. PM David Cameron pledged that child poverty would be gone by this time, yet some of the government’s policies seem to exacerbate the crisis.
Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) estimated that the UK government’s budgetary decisions in recent years will reverse improvements in child poverty rates made over the previous 10 years. By 2020, approximately 3.4 million children – about 1 in 4 children – will be living in poverty, nearly 1 million more than the current figure.
“Tax and benefit reforms introduced since April 2010 can account for almost all of the increases in child poverty projected over the next few years,” IFS said.
In 2007, David Cameron committed his party to addressing child poverty, saying that “Ending child poverty is central to improving child well-being.” The Child Poverty Act was passed in 2010, committing both current and future governments to take action to eliminate child poverty.
The number of 3.4 million children in poverty is the most conservative estimate, based on incomes before housing costs are paid. Assessments including those costs and measuring incomes by 2010-2011 levels show that the number of UK children in poverty could be as high as 5 million by the year 2020.