• New Household Below Average Income (HBAI) figures released today by the Department for Work and Pensions show that child poverty has fallen marginally. In 2010-11, 18 percent of children (2.3 million) lived in households classed as below the poverty line, a 2 per cent decrease on the previous year. 

    UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull said: 

    "Today’s figures are good news, showing previous policies were working to reduce the number of children living in unacceptable conditions. But, the long term view is grim, as the number of children living in poverty in the UK is set to increase due to recent spending cuts.

    We agree with Iain Duncan Smith’s comments today that getting parents into work is a long-term solution, but these jobs – if they can be found in recession-torn Britain – must pay enough to keep families out of poverty.

    A child's family income is the foundation for his or her chances in life. While a holistic approach to tackling child poverty is vital, we cannot get away from the fact that income is highly significant for ending child poverty. 

    From today, Government policies to tackle the deficit must not harm children. There is only one chance at childhood – decisions taken today will affect children’s futures. UNICEF’s Report Card 10 on Child Poverty (released May 29) showed that committed Government action up to 2010 made a real difference to the lives of some of our most vulnerable children.

    We urge the Government to step up its efforts to reduce relative child poverty and set out a credible plan to reach the goal of ending child poverty by 2020."

    - ENDS -

    UNICEF Report Card 10 - To read the press release on Report Card 10 please go to: http://www.unicef.org.uk/Media-centre/Press-releases/UNICEF-calls-on-austerity-Britain-not-to-harm-children/

    To download a copy of the report please go to: http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publications/RC10-measuring-child-poverty.pdf

    For more information, please contact:

    Stephen Pattison, Senior Media Manager, UNICEF UK, (+44) 0207 375 6030, stephenp@unicef.org.uk 

    About UNICEF

    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

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