UK Children’s Commissioners urge UK Government to protect children from austerity measures

01 July 2015

All four UK Children’s Commissioners have called on the UK Government to stop making cuts to benefits and welfare reforms, in order to protect children from the impact of its austerity measures.

The call comes alongside the publication of the Commissioners’ joint report to the UN on the UK’s record on children’s rights over the last seven years― amid growing concern that the UK Government’s commitment to reducing child poverty is to be diluted.

Children pushed into poverty

The Commissioners have expressed alarm at the way the UK Government’s austerity measures and changes to the welfare system have pushed children into poverty. More still are set to be affected by next week’s Budget announcement, where up to £12 billion of cuts are expected to be announced.

Meanwhile, reports that the UK plans to repeal the Child Poverty Act – which requires the UK and devolved governments to put in place strategies and actions to eradicate child poverty – are of deep concern to the Commissioners. Rates of child poverty remain unacceptably high and are thought likely to rise, with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020.

In light of this, the Commissioners have called on the UK Government to urgently review all Budget and economic decisions to ensure they do not push more children into poverty. This is in line with the UK Government’s obligation to ensure the most socially deprived and most vulnerable children are prioritised in economic policy making.

Find out more

Read the Commissioners’ joint report to the UN.

Read the Commissioners’ recommendations to the UK and devolved governments.

As well as austerity, the Commissioners’ report focused on:

  • mental health
  • safeguarding
  • children in the justice system
  • implementation of the UNCRC
  • the repeal of the Human Rights Act.

Find out what the report said around these areas.