The government’s pledge to eradicate child poverty in the UK by 2020 is “dishonest” and not backed by any strategy, Martin Narey, chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s warned last night.
The former head of the prison service hit out at political parties’ “meaningless” commitment to the target and accused the government of complacency.
“There is no escaping an impression that the government believe they have done enough. Or at least that doing any more is too difficult and too expensive,” Narey, who chairs the campaign group End Child Poverty said. “The reality is that progress has faltered. The number of children living in poverty has stopped falling and has now begun to rise again.”
In the speech to the Public Policy and Management Association in London, Narey also said the numbers of children in prison was “shameful” and attacked the “corrosive short termism” of political decision-making in the Home Office.
He also called for better support for asylum-seeking children and children in care.