Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2012

The child poverty mirage

Many people may have been pleasantly surprised recently to see in newspaper headlines that "child poverty is down". Is this a rare success for the Con-Dems' social strategy? Do cuts really encourage the 'big society' to solve all our problems? But just a little further reading showed the latest figures were nothing to get excited about.

In 2010-11 there were 2% (300,000) less children classed as living in poverty than the previous year. But the main reason for this is that child poverty is calculated based on the number of children in households with below 60% of the median income - which was down £13 per week from the year before.

So the great success is... everyone has got poorer so the very very poor aren't quite so far behind the rest any more. Many of those children claimed to have been lifted out of poverty have seen no change in their circumstances whatsoever.

And even using this lower figure, 18% of children - that's 2.3 million - still live in poverty. When housing costs are included, 3.6 million children are living in poverty. Almost two-thirds of households accepted as homeless last year had children. Unsurprisingly given the government's attacks on jobs, wages, benefits and children's services, there's no chance of hitting the target of eradicating child poverty by 2020.

Contrary to work and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith's comments suggesting that the solution for these families is for the parents to "get a job" (there aren't enough) it's not just the unemployed we're talking about - 61% of children in poverty have working parents, up from 45% in the mid 1990s.

The problem is not a "cycle of dependency", it's not "problem families". The problem is a society run in the interests of a tiny rich minority rather than democratically planned to meet the needs of the overwhelming majority.

The Socialist Party fights for a socialist society where we can achieve full employment, decent wages and massive investment into desperately needed services to make sure no child is balancing on the breadline.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 20 June 2012:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight their profit system

2012 earth summit

British economy: "black cloud overhead"

Leveson inquiry - The 1%: "definitely in this together"

Flight of the rats

The child poverty mirage

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Greece election - majority vote against austerity

Egypt's military instigates a 'soft coup'

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join in the Austerity Games!

Gloucestershire: Countywide protests to stop NHS sell-off

Bus bosses can't stop the Socialist!

Support the final sprint to the fighting fund quarter finish line

Socialist Party workplace news

Striking at Fords to defend pensions

Five hundred food processing workers strike in Leicester

Packed Coryton refinery meeting backs action to win

Support the London bus strike

UCU: Time to fight on pay and pensions

Improved offer in Metro workers' pay fight

Workplace news in brief

Trade union conferences

GMB delegates question link to Labour

Unite needs strategy to step up fight against austerity

Unison conference: members show anger at pensions 'offer'

Fighting teachers' association network launched

Socialist Party review

Secret History of the Streets, Deptford High Street


Facebook   Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 20 June 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:

Child poverty:

triangleThem & Us

triangleChildren handed poverty "life sentence"

triangleGovernment policies - 'deeply divisive'

triangleThem & Us

triangleHow to end child poverty in Plymouth


trianglePoverty Britain

triangle10 July: All out to end poverty pay

triangleFighting for young people in Blackwall and Cubitt Town

triangleUS: How Seattle won a $15 minimum wage


triangleSocialist Party Summer Camp 2014

triangleBattling the cuts: when push comes to shove

triangleCampaigning on International Women's Day


triangleHousing crisis hell: a worker's view

triangleCorporate Killers! End fuel poverty

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis


Child abuse

Abuse scandals reveal abusive system


Public sector

J10 strike success: Now build movement to end low pay



Scotland: Threat of a Yes majority forces concessions



Them & Us


Democratic rights

Con-Dems and Labour fast-track 'snoopers charter'



Cherry Groce - Met apologises 29 years later


Minimum wage

Raise the minimum wage: £10 NOW


Public sector

Reports from 10 July pickets and demonstrations


General strike

After 10 July - build workers' movement



Super-rich flash cash at Tory bash


Andy Coulson

Coulson faces prosecution over Tommy Sheridan



Them & Us


Trade union

New Tory attacks on trade union strikes



Junk Juncker, Cameron and the anti-worker EU


National Shop Stewards Network

NSSN - Organising the resistance

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

triangle24 Jul Student loan sell-off plan scrapped

triangle24 Jul Tolpuddle martyrs rally

triangle21 Jul Hands off Hove Park school!

Channel 4 reported that “it took them over 30 minutes to pass Nelson's column.”

triangle20 Jul London: huge show of solidarity

triangle16 Jul Abuse scandals reveal abusive system

Tyneside Safety Glass workers celebrate pay dispute victory, July 2014, photo Elaine Brunskill

triangle16 Jul Tyneside Safety Glass strikers' stunning victory

Picketing Hackney Town Hall on 10 July 2014, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle16 Jul J10 strike success: Now build movement to end low pay

More ...

triangle29 Jul Wakefield Socialist Party: Building the Fast Food Rights campaign

triangle30 Jul Salford Socialist Party: What is the Working Class?

triangle30 Jul Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Prospects for Turkey

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook






July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

















Platform setting: = No platform choice