Save the Children and End Child Poverty led a march on Downing Street today to urge the government to keep its promise to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
The charities organised a rally in central London, with a delegation going on to Downing Street to present chancellor Alistair Darling with a demand for a further investment of £4bn in tax credits and benefits by 2010. Independent experts the Insitute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that £3.8bn is needed to give the government a 50% chance of meeting its target of halving child poverty by 2010-11.
The rally was attended by MPs from all the major political parties as well as children and young people from around the country.
There have been growing concerns that the government is unlikely to reach its target to halve child poverty by 2010 and widespread disappointment in Darling’s pre-budget report, which committed just £580m in anti-child poverty measures last month.
The march took place as representatives from a number of groups, including the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign and Barnardo’s, gave evidence to the work and pensions select committee as part of its inquiry into the government’s progress on child poverty and social mobility.
Charity representatives focused on the need to remove the 16 hours a week restriction on the working tax credit, which they claimed disadvantaged parents of disabled children.
Steve Broach, campaign manager for EDCM, said: “It is key that backbench MPs keep up the pressure on government. Our real focus is next year’s budget.”
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