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Children: Poverty

Volume 472: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what measures the Government has put in place to meet its target of halving child poverty by 2010. (174396)

We have published our strategy for halving child poverty by 2010 most recently in the Child Poverty PSA Delivery Agreement (published November 2007), the DWP Command Paper ‘Ready for work: full employment in our generation’, and the DCSF ‘Children’s Plan’ (both published in December 2007).

Our commitment to halving child poverty by 2010 on the way to eradicating it by 2020 is one of the most ambitious economic and social policy objectives set by any government in the developed world.

To date our strategy has focused on fiscal and welfare reform measures to increase employment levels for parents, with most policy focus on lone parents and increasing financial support through the benefit and tax systems.

Significant progress has been made; there are now 600,000 fewer children living in poverty than in 1998/99. Since 1997 the proportion of children living in workless households has fallen from 18.7 per cent. to 16 per cent. in Quarter 2 of 2007—this is a reduction of 405,000.