Campaigners have called on chancellor Alistair Darling to invest an extra £3bn a year in poverty-reducing measures to meet its 2010 target of halving child poverty, in Monday’s pre-budget report.
In a statement to the House of Commons, Darling will announce the tax and benefit rates for the forthcoming tax year, as well as outline the current tax, spending and borrowing figures. It is widely expected that he will raise public spending and cut taxes to stimulate the UK’s ailing economy.
Hilary Fisher, director of the End Child Poverty campaign coalition, said that annual spending on child tax credits and benefits needed to increase by £3bn by March 2009 in order to lift a million children out of poverty.
This would enable the government to meet its target of halving child poverty from 1998-99 to 2010-11.
She added: “We are hoping that the chancellor will take the opportunity to make the necessary investment in order deliver its commitment to halve child poverty by 2010. Our campaign has more than 140 member organisations and there is a certain amount of expectation.”
Age Concern director general Gordon Lishman also called on the chancellor to give financial support to older people in the pre-budget report. He said: “The government must ensure that its fiscal stimulus package does not ignore the needs of millions of older people who are quickly running out of ways to pay their bills.”