The Guardian recently revealed the results of the Unicef report which put the UK bottom out of 21 economically advanced countries as a place to bring up children.
“Children growing up in the United Kingdom suffer greater deprivation, worse relationships with their parents and are exposed to more risks from alcohol, drugs and unsafe sex than those in any other wealthy country in the world, according to a study from the United Nations.”
Lest we forget the advances made by our government since 1997; 800, 000 children have already been lifted out of relative poverty with a commitment to end all child poverty by 2010. Labour also introduced the child tax credits to give more money to those parents who potentially need it.
And here comes that inevitable line: but more has to be done. This is why Labour Students are already campaigning for it. The national priority campaign this year is ‘Make Child Benefits Count’ in association with the Child Poverty Actions Group (CPAG). This campaign is far reaching and incredibly worthwhile. It calls on the government to equalize child benefits as currently the first child in any family receives a higher rate. It also calls for a national school uniform grant and free at the point of delivery, good quality universal childcare. The policies of CPAG would go a considerable way to eradicating child poverty and tackling the root causes of the social problems laid out in the Unicef report.
Posted by Tom Marley, BULS Vice-chair and Treasurer