TAQ. 9 Why should we care about child poverty in the UK?
Poverty means people are unable to live their lives to the minimum standard of the society in which they live. Inadequate income is the overall deciding factor of poverty when basic material needs cannot be met and people are excluded from taking part in their society because of this situation. Third world countries are the stereotypical places that people associate with poverty yet according to The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP, 2012) there are 3.6 million children living in poverty in the UK today. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four. Therefore, the face of poverty is now a child from a heavily populated urban area in the UK, living in poor quality social housing, where local governments are operating on reduced budgets and wages for the employed aren’t sufficient enough to cover the rising costs of childcare. The effects of child poverty in the UK create a cycle of intergenerational poverty including poor health, low educational attainment and limited social mobility. Children need to be educated to a standard to enable them to gain employment, contribute to society and therefore eliminate the cost to our society. Barnardos (2012), states that the risk of children living in poverty is greatly dependent upon circumstance. The unemployed face benefit cuts resulting in low income; large families are at risk due to increased costs in providing for additional children and young parents just beginning in the world of employment will earn low salaries due to their age. Working families and lone parents deal with government cuts to tax credits; closures of Sure Start Centres and are living on the ‘bread line’ because the minimum wage is low and often they do not progress onto higher paid jobs or better prospects in employment. Children from poor families show low levels of educational attainment as supported by (End Child Poverty, 2012) where it is stated that “poverty predicts...
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