No apology

Earlier this week UK Children’s Commissioners issued a dire warning to the UK Government on its approach to child poverty. In response to our report, the government said it made “no apology” for the efforts it was making.

With Iain Duncan Smith’s announcement it appears that the UK Government thinks the best way to eradicate child poverty is to stop counting it.

Instead, action is needed where the UK Government and devolved governments make child poverty a key focus as a matter of urgency, provide sufficient resources to tackle it meaningfully and assess the impact of all new policies on low-income families. I believe that all levels of government in the UK should have the best interests of children at the heart of policy-making.

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If we do not even know how many children are living in poverty, how can we know what impact policies are having – especially when the evidence is that the government’s actions are detrimental to our children’s futures?

When the UK Government says “no apology”, to me it means no apology for more children being plunged into poverty, no apology for them dying younger, no apology for their educational attainment being badly affected, and no apology for their poor mental health.

It appears that the government is targeting the poorest in society with a crass disregard for the best interests of children and young people.

Tam Baillie

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young

Haymarket Terrace