Getting the OBR to track child poverty would mean governments could no longer ignore it

July 12, 2014 12:54 pm

David Cameron pledged to lead the most family friendly government ever. But this has turned out to be another broken promise as families have been hit hard by his government’s choices over the last four years.

end_child_poverty.jpg

Analysis of official figures published this month shows that under this government families with children have seen much bigger falls in their incomes than those without – at the same time as millionaires have been given a huge tax cut.

A couple with two children aged 5 and 14 are on average £2132 a year worse off in real terms since 2009/10, while a couple with no children are £1404 a year worse off.  And a single person with two children aged 5 and 14 is on average £1664 a year worse off in real terms since 2009/10, while a single person with no children is £936 a year worse off.

Warm words from the Tories in opposition about child poverty have also turned out to be empty promises.

The progress Labour made on reducing child poverty has ground to a halt under the Tories. Figures last week showed that in 2012/13 relative child poverty before housing costs did not change, while measured after housing costs it rose by 100,000. Analysis of the latest Households Below Average Incomes figures shows that material deprivation measures of child poverty are on the rise.

For example, under this government 300,000 more children are living in families that can’t afford to keep their house warm – now a total of 1.7m children. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says child poverty is set to rise as the impact of this government’s choices starts to be seen in the official figures.

This isn’t good enough. That’s why Labour is calling for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to be required to monitor and report on the government’s progress on reducing child poverty. This should include analysing the impact of Budget decisions on the level of child poverty.

It tells you everything you need to know about this Chancellor that George Osborne hasn’t made a single mention of child poverty in his last three Budget speeches.

Boosting the role of the OBR to monitor child poverty would make it more difficult for governments and Chancellors to ignore the problem and the impact of their choices. Labour’s plan to deal with the cost-of-living crisis will tackle child poverty and make work pay. We will expand free childcare, freeze energy bills, increase the minimum wage, incentivise the living wage, scrap the bedroom tax and get more homes built.

While the Tories cut taxes for millionaires and ignore the impact of their choices on child poverty, Labour will back families, tackle child poverty and balance the books in a fairer way.

Catherine McKinnell MP is Labour’s shadow economic secretary to the Treasury

  • treborc1

    So what would you do, would you allow the wages to go up for the poorest who tend to be the public sector , or would you state nope 1%.

    The problem is when your knocking the Tories your actually attacking your self.

    As for the higher rate of tax we all know why labour upped the tax rate to 50p to set a trap, if Brown had thought he was going to win he would not have done it.

    Sorry this is simple attacking the Tories when you your self would do the same.

    • gunnerbear

      Well said.

  • gunnerbear

    “We will expand free childcare…..”

    No such thing as something provided ‘free’ by the state – it’s all got to be paid for one way or another. Are my taxes going to go to pay for somebody’s child care or perhaps we could bin the idea of borrowing money to give away in foreign aid.

Latest

  • News Miliband dismisses Lamont’s “branch office” claims in Daily Record interview

    Miliband dismisses Lamont’s “branch office” claims in Daily Record interview

    Ed Miliband has broken his silence over Johann Lamont’s resignation – and specifically allegations that Scottish Labour was treated like a “branch office” – in an interview with the Daily Record. Miliband told the paper: “I was proud to work with Johann in the referendum campaign. I see it differently from the way it’s been described. I think we changed in terms of the 2011 review (of the Scottish Labour Party), with a new Scottish leader, redrawing Scottish constituency parties to […]

    Read more →
  • News Timetable for London Mayoral selection confirmed

    Timetable for London Mayoral selection confirmed

    The timetable for Labour’s Mayoral selection ‘primary’ has been confirmed by the party this week. Following the party’s special conference and Collins Review this year, it was agreed that the selection would be open to party members, registered supporters and affiliates who have opted-in to membership, and will take place in the immediate aftermath of the general election. The timetable is as follows: Applications open: May 18th Applications close: May 25th Nominations (from CLPs, affiliates): received by June 15th Applications for the […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Polling Scotland New Scotland poll shows Labour trailing SNP by 29 points

    New Scotland poll shows Labour trailing SNP by 29 points

    Labour would face an electoral massacre in Scotland if the general election was held tomorrow, according to a new poll. Tracking the voting intention for Westminster seats among the Scottish public, the poll indicates that support for Labour is 19% points lower than it was at the 2010 election – meaning our support has roughly halved. The poll, carried out by Ipsos-MORI for STV, found support stands at: SNP 52%, Labour 23%, Tories 10%, Lib Dems 6%, Greens 6%, UKIP […]

    Read more →
  • News Blair: We should not chase after UKIP on immigration

    Blair: We should not chase after UKIP on immigration

    Tony Blair has warned the Labour Party not to give in to UKIP’s arguments on immigration, saying that the party has a “nasty core of prejudice”. In an interview with Progress, Blair says Labour should be take the line that UKIP are wrong: “Let’s be clear: We don’t think that UKIP’s right, not on immigration and not on Europe – so the first thing you’ve got to be really careful of doing is … saying things that suggest that they’re kind […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland Murphy makes unity candidate pitch as Unite prepare to endorse Findlay

    Murphy makes unity candidate pitch as Unite prepare to endorse Findlay

    There are two interviews with Scottish Labour leader candidates in this morning’s papers. Jim Murphy launches his campaign by talking to the Daily Record (the same paper Johann Lamont did her resignation interview with last week), while Neil Findlay has a short conversation with the Morning Star. Murphy builds on the statement he made last night (“I’m applying for the job of First Minister”) by claiming he wants “to bring the country back together after the referendum.” He said: “I […]

    Read more →