I am sure that like many of your readers I was angered and upset on reading a new report by Save the Children on Child Poverty that says children are going without at least one hot meal a day, parents are cutting back on food for themselves to ensure their children have enough to eat, while many thousands are unable to afford warm coats and new shoes at the start of the new school year.
This is not some shanty-town in the Third World, but 21st century Britain. This Conservative-led government is pursuing policies which expose poorer people to the worst effects of the recession, so increasing inequality while doing little to tackle the greed and irresponsibility which has produced the economic crisis. For the first time in its history, the charity Save the Children, is launching an appeal to raise money to help the poorest families here in Britain to survive the recession. Given that the vast majority of children living in poverty, have at least one parent in work, the government must take greater responsibility for their welfare. Firstly, they should encourage more employers to pay the living wage, so parents can earn enough to lift their children out of poverty. Secondly, they must strengthen the new Universal Credit by allowing working parents to keep more of their earnings before benefits are withdrawn. Thirdly, in order to help parents afford to work, they must provide extra child-care support so that 80% of costs are covered. If “we are all in it together”, I expect to see George Osborne reverse the disgraceful tax cut for the rich and instead use that money to help those that need it most.
Coun Nader Fekri
(Calder Ward, CMBC)