Thousands of people have called on the government to keep its target to reduce child poverty in the UK, in a new petition which accuses the Tories of side-stepping their duty to poor and disadvantaged children.
The government is scrapping existing child poverty targets and replacing it with a new bill that focuses on ‘life chances’, such as educational achievements and whether parents are in work.
However, the petition author Rebecca says the new system would “ignore child poverty completely”, adding that parents in work can still be poor.
“If poverty measures are solely based on parents working and achievement at GCSE level then no one will know about children like mine who grow up missing out on things their friends take for granted.
“Children in poverty already feel poor and disadvantaged, why should they also be unnoticed?”
Rebecca says that despite being in work, she and her husband dread Christmas knowing that “budgets will be squeezed and our home isn’t as warm as we would like through the winter”.
The petition, supported by the Child Poverty Action Group, calls on people not to “let this government side step their accountability, their responsibility, their duty to the children of this country”.
It adds: “There is plenty of evidence that shows the way poverty affects children: it leads to shorter, sicklier lives, lower educational achievement, higher rates of mental health issues, social exclusion and low self-esteem.”
At the time of publication, nearly 32,000 people had signed the petition. You can add your name here.