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 Scotland Gordon Brown to present Scotland petition to Westminster

    Gordon Brown to present Scotland petition to Westminster

    Following the Scottish referendum, politicians from all parties have been pledging that further devolution of powers to Scotland will happen.   At the forefront of the campaign to ensure that Scotland does receive more powers from Westminster (and without any ‘strings attached’) is Gordon Brown. Today, he will announce that in two weeks times he will bring a petition to Westminster calling for the government to honour it’s promise to give Scottish Parliament more powers. Brown will bring this to […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Game On

    Game On

    So now we know what we truly always knew. The Tories are Tories. They are going to fight the next election on welfare cuts for the working poor and tax cuts for the lowest and highest paid. It will be interesting to see whether the rise in the tax threshold balances the cuts to Working Family Tax Credit. With the poor Cameron giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other. So very like a Tory. For the rich […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Freelancing needs a policy agenda of its own

    Freelancing needs a policy agenda of its own

    The self employed are often the ‘most entrepreneurial, go-getting people in Britain’ . That is what Ed Milliband said during his conference speech when he placed a commitment to the self employed and albeit freelance workers at the heart of his election pledges for the general election. One of Labour’s six pledges is to provide equal rights to the self employment. As Ed Mililband noted ‘two out of three don’t have a pension, one in five can’t get a mortgage. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Cameron’s pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act shows he’s legally illiterate

    Cameron’s pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act shows he’s legally illiterate

    In a crowded field, there is one issue which can always evoke splenetic outrage in the Daily Mail and the Tory backbenches: the Human Rights Act. And so it came as no surprise that its abolition ‘once and for all’ formed an integral part of David Cameron’s speech to the Tory conference. He had a simple pitch: the UK government is being told what to do, not by its own Courts but by Strasbourg. So we need a British Bill […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Cameron’s Tax Cut is a Tax Con – but it’ll be popular, and highlights Labour’s missed opportunity

    Cameron’s Tax Cut is a Tax Con – but it’ll be popular, and highlights Labour’s missed opportunity

    David Cameron’s conference speech today was well-delivered, punchy and memorable. It had a clear top line to grab the evening news headlines, and his populist tax cuts will be the overwhelming focus of tomorrow’s front pages. This was cheese to Miliband’s chalk. Whilst the Labour leader appeared to lack energy last week, and his headline announcement leaked in advance (and wasn’t sufficiently headline-grabbing to grab headlines), Cameron was surprisingly pumped up, energetic and forceful. He was also doling out policy like […]

    Read more →
7ads6x98y