Bleak forecasts for children in the UK

New figures released on Wednesday the 11 th of October  show that the number of people, including children, living in poverty in the UK is increasing.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says an extra 600,000 children will be living in poverty by 2013, taking the total to over 3.1 million. As a percentage, that will equate to 22% of children in the United Kingdom who will be living in poverty.

The IFS forecasts are also bleak for the so called ‘squeezed middle’ of England. Incomes are going to fall more sharply than at any time since the 1970s, plunging another 800,000 adults into absolute poverty by 2013. To be considered below the poverty line people must be living on a household income which is below 60% of the median national income.  In real terms the forecasts predict that median incomes will fall by 7% after inflation has been taken into account. That is the largest average income drop for 35 years.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN10 - David Cameron, Le...

David Cameron - Image via Wikipedia

The figures seem to go against David Cameron’s pre-election promises, in which he promised to cut poverty claiming it ‘fighting relative poverty was a central policy goal’.

Belgium had to face an increase of the fuel prices. People may think we do now pay the highest price. But the energy and transport provider is still going to become a burden for many, having to spend more than 10% of their income for it.

The analysis by Deutsche Bank suggests rising energy bills and sluggish income growth will make household energy less affordable than at any time since the oil shocks of the 1970s and this could force a quarter of UK households into fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty is when a household spends more than 10% of its income on energy bills in order to maintain an adequately warm house.

After several decades of energy self-sufficiency in the UK, falling production from ageing North Sea gas fields means the UK now imports more energy than it produces, leaving households at the mercy of fluctuating prices on the International energy markets.

According to research by Credit Suisse, the renewables obligation put£1.3billion on bills last year and this sum will climb to £2billion in 2013. The government will also introduce a carbon floor price, intended to make coal and gas-fired power stations more expensive to operate, in 2013.

The Daily Mail’s take on the IFS report puts poor kids lower down the story than the prospect that “the average family” – an important part of the paper’s Middle Britain appeal – will be £2,000 a year worse off by 2013. That’s £28,000 a year instead of £30,000 for the “typical couple” with two children, says the Mail, which strikes me as a little high.

The implications for wider society are grim and campaign groups are urging people not to view this as a problem for the poorest section of society alone. Figures show that children raised in poverty will fall behind in terms of education, are more likely to commit crime and have a higher chance of being unemployed in later life.

Ormiston Children and Families Trust, which is based in Ipswich and covers seven counties across the East of England, has seen the number of struggling families double in the past 18 months, with the latest figures showing 11% of Suffolk’s population live in poverty – including 19,000 children across the county.

Charity chief executive Geoff Prescott said: “If you live in a rural community it is harder to find employment, to travel to jobs, to find suitable housing, and to make ends meet when money is tight.

About 7% of youngsters in Suffolk are classed as NEETS, that is young people not in education, employment or training, which is one of the highest rates in the UK.

The figures also show parts of Waveney and Ipswich are among the worst in the country, with 25% of children living in poverty.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “This is a trend that has built up over many years largely because of the lack of job opportunities.

According to the Marmot Review, poor children are more likely to be affected by obesity, heart disease and mental health problems, while 47% of British children with asthma are from the poorest ten per cent of families.  The Resolution Foundation estimates that there are five million people – 21% of employees- who earn less than a living wage. A living wage is defined as a wage that would provide a ‘minimum acceptable quality of life’. Twenty-seven per cent of women, who are more likely to be single parents than men, earn below the living wage. This is entirely unacceptable and this month’s 15p increase in the national minimum wage is simply not enough to lift workers and their families out of poverty. Parents should not be forced to work all of the hours of the day to provide their families with barely enough money to enjoy a decent quality of life.

The UK was known for having a lot of categories earning not enough money. As in Belgium there are some workers which are paid not according to their efforts and possibilities.  In our world there are to many people who have to go to work with both parents. Many leave the house when it’s dark and come back home when it’s dark. They hardly see their family. Lots of them just work to stay alive. No suprise that  they wonder where their life has gone.

Matthew Butcher, a media and communications officer at FairPensions, is calling on companies in the FTSE 100, who could afford to pay their CEOs an average of 32% more last year than the year before, to pay living wages and help lift families out of poverty. While workers wages are falling in real terms the tax credit system – a vital lifeline that boosts income for many families- effectively acts as a government subsidy for ‘low pay’ corporations. It’s time that Britain’s biggest businesses join the fight against child poverty, save the public purse some money and pay their workers living wages.

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  • Letters: Alarming child poverty forecast must lead to government action (guardian.co.uk)

    As members of the Campaign to End Child Poverty we are alarmed to see new projections confirming what we all feared: that child poverty rates are on the increase and 800,000 more children will be in poverty by 2020 (Report, 11 October).

    In a rich country that already has shamefully high child poverty levels, this news is devastating. If allowed to happen, it will reverse the progress made over the past decade and set us back to the rapidly rising child poverty rates of the 1980s and 1990s. Generations suffered lasting damage as a result. We call on the government to recognise the urgency of the situation and take immediate steps to reduce child poverty if it is going to stand any chance of honouring the commitments on child poverty made in the coalition agreement.

    Alison Garnham Child Poverty Action Group Helen Dent Family Action Justin Forsyth Save the Children, Fiona Weir Gingerbread, Anne Marie Carrie Barnardo’s Christine Blower NUT Anne Longfield 4Children Faiza Chaudary National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, Anand Shukla Daycare Trust Anita Tiessen Unicef, Brendan Barber TUC

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    England’s biggest children’s charity, have seen a 100% increase in the number of people coming to us for help in the last 18 months. Times are tough and the most vulnerable face the highest risk. The rurally isolated poor are undoubtedly among them.

    Geoffrey Prescott

    Ormiston Children and Families Trust

  • IFS Shouldn’t Really be Into Propaganda (adamcollyer.wordpress.com)
    The government usually talks about “relative poverty” – i.e. a proportion of average income – to define the poverty level. People often criticise that approach because being “poor” by that definiiton does not necessarily mean you don’t have enough to live on. This time it’s different. This study talks about “absolute poverty”.
  • Brit Kids ‘Face Soaring Poverty Over Reforms’ (news.sky.com)
    Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “David Cameron promised us he would not increase child poverty. Now we have the truth.”The Tory-led Government’s decision to cut too far and too fast this year will condemn hundreds of thousands more children to grow up poor.”All the progress our country has made in a decade fighting the scar of child poverty has been wiped out by the decisions of just one year. A generation of children will not thank Cameron.”
  • Falling incomes poverty warning (bbc.co.uk)
    The report, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, also confirms that targets set in 2010 to cut absolute child poverty by 2020 to 5% are likely to be missed by a wide margin – with the IFS forecasting it will be 23%.
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    Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: “Ministers seem to be in denial that, under current policies, their legacy threatens to be the worst poverty record of any government for a generation.

    “They risk damaging childhoods and children’s life chances, as well as our national economic wellbeing from wasted potential and social costs spiral. It would be a catastrophic failure in public policy and political leadership.”

  • 400,000 children will fall into relative poverty by 2015, warns IFS (guardian.co.uk)
    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, universities minister David Willetts defended the government’s record, blaming the wider economic malaise for a drop in living standards.  “Even if there were a huge increase in the resources made available, it is hard to see how child poverty could fall by enough to hit this supposedly legally binding target in just nine years,” he told the Guardian.
    “But you can’t ignore the basic rules of economics that when you inherit a situation where an economy has shrunk by 7%, the money isn’t there. We’re living with the consequences of a serious drop in the economy and that’s feeding into living standards across the board.”
  • Welfare Reforms ‘Will Increase Child Poverty’ (news.sky.com)
  • U.K. -Disabled child poverty ‘staggering’ (thehandiestone.typepad.com)
    Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of The Children’s Society said: “These findings are staggering and very worrying. It is essential that the Government does not cut rates of support for disabled children under the Universal Credit.”
  • US poverty worse than previous recessions (marcus ampe)
  • Securing risks (marcus ampe)
    • Poverty deepens: real remedies please, not gestures | Michael White (guardian.co.uk)
      According to an eFinanceCareers website survey reported in today’s FT, the pompous idiots believe they deserve the money, too.

      Both developments are aspects of an unhealthy casino mentality which, like footballers’ wages (rugby players’ too this week) are usually only tenuously related to effort or achievement, and certainly not to socially acceptable behaviour. Yes, Wayne Rooney and Manu Tuilagi, we’re talking about you as well as everyone’s favourite whipping boy, Fred “the shred” Goodwin.

      In fact, the deepening poverty of society’s poorest – the result of frozen wages and benefit cuts – which makes mockery of Labour’s 2010 Child Poverty Act, for which pre-election coalition MPs piously voted, is only a small part of the wider story.

      When the coalition announced that, in future, it would uprate benefits according to the CPI version of inflation instead of the traditional RPI measure (which includes housing costs), it clobbered pensioners as well as the unemployed and poor.

      We need not worry quite so much about pensioners as about children – kids are the future. Besides, Gordon Brown’s drive to curb the worst aspects of UK poverty was more successful in tackling acute pensioner poverty through the minimum income guarantee than were his efforts, much maligned then and derided since, to halve child poverty by 2010.

    • U.K. -Disabled child poverty ‘staggering’ (thehandiestone.typepad.com)
      The Children’s Society said the statistics had been calculated by removing the Disability Living Allowance paid to families to reflect the additional costs of bringing up disabled children.

      Once this allowance was taken into account, child poverty rates among disabled children increased from 36% to 40% – 10% above the rate for all children – and the equivalent of four in every 10 of disabled children, it said.

      The charity said it was urging the Government to “rethink” welfare reforms, which it said would mean more than 100,000 disabled children losing up to £27 a week following the introduction of the new Universal Credit.

    • Letters: Alarming child poverty forecast must lead to government action (guardian.co.uk)
      As members of the Campaign to End Child Poverty we are alarmed to see new projections confirming what we all feared: that child poverty rates are on the increase and 800,000 more children will be in poverty by 2020 (Report, 11 October). The Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis shows that, although universal credit will help reduce numbers in poverty, it cannot reverse the impact of massive cuts to welfare benefits, rising inflation, stagnating wages and higher unemployment. In fact the share of national income of our poorest households is set to shrink.

      In a rich country that already has shamefully high child poverty levels, this news is devastating. If allowed to happen, it will reverse the progress made over the past decade and set us back to the rapidly rising child poverty rates of the 1980s and 1990s. Generations suffered lasting damage as a result. We call on the government to recognise the urgency of the situation and take immediate steps to reduce child poverty if it is going to stand any chance of honouring the commitments on child poverty made in the coalition agreement.
      Alison Garnham Child Poverty Action Group Helen Dent Family Action Justin Forsyth Save the Children, Fiona Weir Gingerbread, Anne Marie Carrie Barnardo’s Christine Blower NUT Anne Longfield 4Children Faiza Chaudary National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, Anand Shukla Daycare Trust Anita Tiessen Unicef, Brendan Barber TUC

    • 400,000 children will fall into relative poverty by 2015, warns IFS (guardian.co.uk)
      A child is considered to be in relative poverty if he or she lives in a household whose income is below 60% of the average in that year, and in absolute poverty if he or she lives in a household whose real-terms income is below 60% of the 2010/11 average – a period set as a benchmark in this year’s Child Poverty Act.

      The IFS said that while the introduction of the coalition’s universal credit scheme will “act to reduce both absolute and relative poverty” the effect will be swamped by the “large decline in real incomes across the income distribution” and the new slower system of uprating means-tested benefits.

    • Child poverty is accelerating – don’t buy the Tory line | Tom Clark (guardian.co.uk)
      Boy playing football in Glasgow street

      … seeing as the briefest reflection reveals that both relative and absolute poverty matter. Malnutrition is a serious business regardless of the social context, but – as Adam Smith always recognised – having enough money to fit into the community is also important. The sole glimmer of good news in an otherwise dankly depressing Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report is that it brings this old argument to a close. So hard are the hard times that there is no longer any need to choose between competing measures of penury – you can choose whatever metric you like, and the poor will still be getting poorer.

    • Four-in-10 disabled young ‘poor’ (bbc.co.uk)
      The government says the most severely disabled children will receive more money under the changes.

      Its Welfare Reform Bill is nearing its final stage in parliament before it becomes law.

      From 2013, it will bring in a single monthly payment – known as a Universal Credit – which will replace a range of benefits.

      The Children’s Society says a new study it has carried out shows 320,000 disabled children in the UK live in poverty.

      That is defined as being in a family where the income is less than 60% of the national average.

      Continue reading the main story“This cut in support can only lead to more disabled children being pushed into poverty and we are urging the government to review it”

      Bob Reitemeier, Chief executive, Children’s Society

      The charity says nearly a third of the 320,000 live in “severe poverty” – where the income is less than 40% of the average.

    • Disabled child poverty ‘staggering’ (mirror.co.uk)
      The Government is facing increased pressure to “rethink” planned welfare reforms after a leading children’s charity published new figures claiming four in 10 disabled children are living in poverty.
    • What is a family friendly government? (thefword.org.uk)
      … the only thing stopping the introduction of tax breaks for married couples is the presence of the Liberal Democrats in the coalition government. It is telling that when Conservative Home talks about Britain having the most ‘anti-family’ tax system in Europe it bases this on a definition of family as “a one earner married couple with two children”. More recently the Prime Minister has been telling us how we should wait to have children until we’re all middle class.
    • Childcare In The UK ‘Most Expensive In World’ (news.sky.com)
      Britain’s poorest families are turning down jobs or considering leaving work because they cannot afford childcare, according to a survey.

      L-Family-at-home---rushesCharities claim rocketing childcare costs are forcing low income families out of work

       

      About 4,000 parents responded to research by charities Save the Children and Daycare Trust.

      The study found parents in the UK spend almost a third of their income on childcare, more than anywhere else in the world.

      Just over 4o% of families said the cost of childcare is on a par with mortgage or rent payments.

    • UK riots: causes and effects (slouchingtowardsthatcham.com)
      The relative poverty of many of those involved has been offered up as both a cause and an excuse for the looters and rioters. Perhaps the most idiotic of all were the two drunken girls in Croydon who boasted to a BBC reporter that they were showing police and “the rich people that have got businesses” that “we can do what we want”. (Seriously, see how true that is if you end up with a criminal record. And do you really think the bloke with the corner shop who works 90 hours a week is ‘rich’?)

      Real poverty is horrible. And it can certainly explain many – but by no means all – of the root causes of criminal behaviour. But does it excuse it? Of course not. And the reality is that there will always be poverty. I don’t disagree that the trend towards the super-rich becoming ever more wealthy and powerful can have a destructive effect on society. But I also don’t think that is an excuse to set buildings on fire, relieve shops of their contents and set out with the intention of injuring the police.

    • Anarchy on the streets? What can be learned from the August riots? (spiritofpn.wordpress.com)
      David Hopkins, SNU minister and co-author of The Philosophy of Spiritualism and The Religion of Spiritualism, takes an in-depth look at those events from a Spiritualist perspective and asks the all-important question – what can be learned from them?

  • Energie met vergiftigd geschenk (marcus ampe)

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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