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Child Poverty Unit

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will publish the minutes of each meeting of the Child Poverty Unit since its establishment; and if he will make a statement. (201073)

In October 2007 the Government established the DWP/DCSF Joint Child Poverty Unit to ensure that there is a clear cross Government approach to tackling child poverty.

The unit brings together the expertise of officials from DWP and DCSF and works closely with HMT and our key stakeholders to drive forward the child poverty agenda.

Since its formation, members of the unit have undertaken a large number of meetings with prominent members of the child poverty lobby, key think tanks and other stakeholders, as well as attending ministerial meetings.

Meetings are held routinely and on an ad hoc basis, as the unit seeks to reinvigorate the Government's child poverty strategy, to ensure we eradicate child poverty by 2020.

Flexibility is the key to the unit's success. Officials are co-located and work together on a daily basis. As a consequence is it not possible formally to minute each and every meeting that members of the unit undertake. To do so would place an additional burden on the unit's time and resources.