Commenting on the findings of a new report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, which looks at how children are affected by the 2013 budget, Anita Tiessen, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF UK says:
“These findings should be seen as a warning to the Government about the negative impact of austerity on children. The report reveals the additional pressures that changes in benefits and tax credits and the cuts in public spending are placing on low income families. As the report says, the adverse impacts of austerity are not temporary but will have long lasting impacts on vulnerable children.
“We would urge the Government to do more to put children first in these challenging economic times. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has made it repeatedly clear that children must be visible in national budgets and have strongly advised the UK Government to identify the proportion of resources it allocates to children, with a view to ensuring children and young people are supported to develop to their full potential.
“The report is a step forward in analysing the impact of government spending decisions on children; however we would like to remind the UK Government that impact assessments produced by the Children’s Commissioner for England – however valuable - are in no way a substitute for such assessments being carried out by government itself. Without proper monitoring of the impact of public spending decisions on children, it is not possible to determine the extent that children’s economic, social and cultural rights are being protected and realised in the UK.”
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Notes to editors:
1. The report by Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England reveals that over half a million more children will be forced into poverty by 2015 because of Government fiscal policies and tax and benefit changes. It reveals that families with children are losing, on average, £41.07 a week.
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UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk