Child Poverty update: UK report ‘shows that Britain is on the brink of becoming a permanently divided nation’

20 October 2014

Article written by Sian Thomas, National Assembly for Wales Research Service

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

The UK Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s (SMCP) second annual State of the Nation Report, published today, states that ‘Britain is on the brink of becoming a permanently divided nation’.

The UK Government has responsibility for some of the key policy levers relating to child poverty: such as welfare and social security, fiscal and macro-economic policy. Other policy areas which impact on child poverty such as education, health and economic development are devolved to the Welsh Government.

In July 2014 we reported how Wales has the highest child poverty rate of all the UK nations and that the SMCP had previously said that at a UK level ‘across the political spectrum, party leaders now need to come clean about what they plan to do to meet the legal obligation to end child poverty by 2020’.

Child poverty has had a high profile on the political agenda since 1999, when the then Prime Minister Tony Blair made a commitment to halve child poverty by 2010, and eliminate child poverty by 2020. That target was later enshrined in law in the Child Poverty Act 2010.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission is an advisory non-departmental public body, established under the Child Poverty Act 2010. Its remit is to monitor the progress of the Government and others on child poverty and social mobility. The SMCP’s report has been laid before the UK Parliament and you can read more about its detailed findings here.