Bid to alter poverty stats under fire

Anti-poverty campaigners are protesting about government plans to
wipe a million children from the official poverty statistics by
ignoring housing costs.

The coalition End Child Poverty is urging the government to drop a
proposal to change the way they measure family poverty from one
based on income after housing costs, to before housing costs.

ECP says today’s official child poverty count of 3.8 million would
be immediately cut to 2.7 million if housing costs were ignored.

According to the campaign the government is developing more
detailed measures of child poverty but claims it is making the
housing costs change to bring UK figures in line with those of
other European countries.

But housing costs tend to be higher in the UK and ignoring the high
cost of housing will also ignore a major cause of child poverty,
say campaigners.

ECP director Jonathan Stearn said: “To avoid any suggestion that
the government is moving the goalposts the secretary of state
should commit to including housing costs in all top line figures on
child poverty both now and in the future.”

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