Lisa Harker appointed as poverty tsar

The government has today appointed Lisa Harker as independent adviser on child poverty to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Her role is to advise on possible new approaches to child poverty and she will be working closely with the department, reviewing its policies and helping progress towards the “ambitious target of eradicating child poverty by 2020,” welfare reform minister Jim Murphy said.

The government needs to “bring some fresh thinking into play,” added Murphy.

Harker is a former chair of the Daycare Trust and has worked for Save the Children, the Child Poverty Action Group and the Institute for Public Policy Research.

She said: “I am delighted to take up this appointment. Despite recent progress, several million children are growing up in poverty in the UK. I look forward to playing my part in bringing forward ideas that will strengthen efforts to tackle child poverty.”

Murphy also announced he is convening an advisory panel including Child Poverty Action Group chief executive Kate Green and social policy academics to complement Harker’s work.

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