The number of children living in poverty in the UK fell by two per cent last year according to new official government statistics.

In 2010-11, 18% of children (2.3 million) lived in households classed as below the poverty line, down from 2.6 million the previous year.

The Children's Society has welcomed the fact that 1.1 million less children live in poverty than at the start of the decade to leave Britain with "the lowest poverty level since the mid-1980s".

However, their chief executive Matthew Reed warned that "drastic cuts to support and services".

He added: "It is shameful that over the coming decade this progress is likely to be reversed by the government's drastic cuts to support and services for the country's most vulnerable children and families."

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the government remained committed to the Child Poverty Act targets set by the previous Labour government but that it was "increasingly clear that poverty is not about income alone".

The government will use a consultation later in the year to look at new ways of measuring child poverty taking into account problems like unemployment, family breakdown and addiction.

Though Mr Duncan Smith expects that the proposed creation of universal tax credits will pull the "vast majority" of young families out of poverty.

However, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation believe changes to be made quicker with chief executive Julia Unwin commenting that "breaking the crippling low pay, no pay cycle that keeps so many working families in poverty would be a welcome start".

Read a former economics teacher's view on the latest poverty stats in our latest blog: "Fall in childhood poverty levels is just an illusion"
 

Posted 15/06/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com