‘Government poverty unit must include Treasury’

Treasury officials must be involved in a new child poverty unit in Whitehall if it is to succeed, campaigners have said.

The unit, announced this week, will be based in the Department for Children, Schools and Families and aim to meet the government’s pledge of halving the number of children living in poverty by 2010. Experts from the Department for Work and Pensions and the DSCF will develop policy with the Treasury.

Quote from article on page 4, 1 november issueChild Poverty Action Group’s chief executive Kate Green said that while she welcomed the government’s recognition of the “slow” progress on child poverty, she was concerned no Treasury officials would be actually based in the unit.

“This is a concern as about £4bn annual investment is needed to meet the 2010 target. Investment will do much more to restore public trust in the government’s commitment to the targets and we are calling for the necessary investment to be made in next year’s Budget,” she said.

Children’s minister Ed Balls said: “Ending child poverty is a simple moral imperative it has no place in modern Britain. There has been an enormous programme of social reform over the past 10 years that has lifted 600,000 children out of poverty – but this must accelerate, not plateau.”

He added: “The child poverty unit renews our commitment to eradicating child poverty. By working across government we can think and act strategically, share expertise and join up resources to help end child poverty.”

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Maria Ahmed

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