Credit hike would help poverty fight

The government is likely to fail to meet its target for reducing
child poverty unless child tax credits are increased from next
April, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

The charity this week launched a campaign called Make it a Fiver
Gordon, which calls on the chancellor to give an extra £5 a
week for each child living in low-income families from next April.
“The chancellor said in the Budget that he wanted to make faster
progress in tackling child poverty, but without a significant
increase in the child tax credit the first target for reducing
child poverty will almost certainly be missed,” said CPAG director
Martin Barnes.

The prime minister pledged in 1999 to eradicate child poverty
within 20 years and the government’s first target is to reduce the
number of children in poverty by a quarter by the end of 2004-5.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that an increase of between
£3 and £5 a week in the child tax credit may be needed to
ensure the target is met.

The rate of the child tax credit from April next year should be
announced in the chancellor’s pre-Budget statement in the autumn.

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