Back in 1999 the-then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, promised to halve the number of poor children in 10 years and to eradicate child poverty in 20 years.He also set a more short-term goal to reduce the number of children living in poverty to 3.1 million by April 2005.Although the total has fallen by 600,000 since then, the government is still 500,000 short of reaching its original target.The report’s authors say the most serious setback was an increase of 200,000 children living in poverty in 2005/6 – taking the total to 3.8 million, or one in three children, if housing costs are taken into account.
Hmm let me see, a third of children here still live in poverty, the government has had a huge majority and ten years to change that and last year the number in poverty actually increased which, um, yes is a bit of a setback.
They also cast doubt on Mr Brown’s policy of tax credits, a central plank of Labour’s efforts to cut poverty, warning that more than half of the children facing poverty were in families where at least one parent was in work – the same rate as a decade ago.
One of the report’s authors, Peter Kenway, said: “The Government’s anti-poverty policy is exhausted. The evidence is quite clear that they did get some of the way towards what they wanted to do and they did reduce child poverty but there is a sense that they have run out of steam. There was nothing in the pre-Budget report or the Queen’s Speech that showed they were going to approach this with renewed vigour.”
And yet the richest people are getting richer than ever, hmmmm, what could possibly be done here…let me see…children living in poverty…but already very rich people are getting even more money … hmmm…if only I could see some kind of obvious solution to this problem… Oh my! If only I was as clever as those people in the government, the LABOUR government… still if they can’t figure out a solution I don’t suppose anybody can…
WARNING: The levels of enraged sarcasm in the previous paragraph may cause cancers, embolisms and psychotic breaks in readers of a humane and intelligent disposition.
PS. But chin up, we still have cute little Pudsey!
FURTHER WARNING: Sorry, that was worse.