Why should we care about child poverty in the UK The term poverty is used to describe people, individuals or families who do not have as much money as other people in the society they live in. Poverty and child poverty go hand in hand, looking at the bigger picture if the parents are living in poverty so will the children, with lots of different elements possibly causing this. They may have a poor diet due to the fact that fruit, vegetables, meat and fish can be expensive especially when you have very little money.
They cannot afford to live in the customs society feels are normal for example sky television or the latest clothes or trainers. However it is not always just money that can affect someone living in poverty it can also be having little or no education. Often children who live in poverty will leave school, at sixteen with bad GCSE results or none at all, resulting in no job or a low paid job, leaving them unable to provide for their family. Child poverty is not just famine or children dying in the developing world as television images would have us believe, it is a big problem in the United Kingdom too (End child poverty,2013).
Its time our eyes were opened to the fact that “at least one out of every six children in the United Kingdom lives in relative poverty” (BBC News, 2013). Child poverty can occur from many different elements “is the single greatest threat to the well-being of children and families” (Banardos, 2013). a two parent family with two children needs to earn ? 349. 00 per week to stay above the poverty line, many families fall under this figure. unemployment , low paid jobs, uneducated or poorly educated people contributed with high child care costs all attribute to the problem.
As does inadequate benefits, the set levels of benefits can leave people below the poverty line (Save the children). Poverty can mean being cold or hungry often they are not able to enjoy a simple holiday as a family. Many miss out on clubs at school or after school and activities because they simply do not have the money. There are two ways to measure poverty, relative; net income that is below sixty per cent of median net disposable income and absolute; which is adjusted to inflation (BBC News, 2013). using relative the governments preferred measure of poverty, figures show there is no change in child poverty.
However using absolute measure it shows poverty is a big problem for one in every six children (BBC News, 2013). living in poverty can affect the child’s goals, expectations and achievements, this also tends to repeat from generation to generation. Resulting in a cycle of poverty (End child poverty, 2013). The consciences of poverty continue through the generations, as adults the children are more likely to be unemployed because they are not qualified to gain a decent job to earn money for themselves or their families, be homeless, suffer ill health both physically and mentally.
Many struggle with social interaction often feeling excluded from society. It affects the child/children, the parents, family and the society around them. It can affect every area of a child’s development, social, educational and personal. Many become involved in drug abuse, alcohol abuse and abusive relationships as they reach adulthood (Barnardos, 2013). The issue of child poverty and the reoccurring cycle can be tackled by better education to help them achieve more skills and aim for higher goals.
Investing in high quality education and childcare for young children and offering support to parents, could help break the link between being poor and not doing well. The work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan smith said “the government’s aim was to get children out of poverty by getting more people into work”( BBC News, 2013). unemployed parents should be given every possible bit of help to get a job, a good well paid one, with flexibility offered and help with childcare costs ( Child poverty action group,2000-2013). people in work should not be paid below the poverty line, increasing the minimum wage would help.
The child poverty act legislation ensures action must be taken to tackle child poverty by this and the future governments, by the devolved administrations and by local government and their partners. The act sets out four United Kingdom targets which are to be met by 2020. They are that relative low income will be less than ten per cent. That combined low income and material deprivation (living standards) will be less than five per cent. Absolute low income will be less than five per cent and that persistent poverty (the length of time) will be set in regulations by 2015.
The government is required to produce child poverty strategies that run through to 2020 and are refreshed every three years. These strategies will set out what action is needed to meet the targets in the child poverty act (Department for education, 2012). child poverty is a big issue in the UK and should be tackled appropriately so that less children in families with low income or no income suffer, decreasing the long term effects such as no jobs or low paid jobs, ill health, mentally and physically, homelessness, poor education, poor diet, being cold because there’s not enough money for heating and food.
Making sure there is adequate education available to children and encouraging them to achieve good GCSES to enable them to gain a well-paid good job to support their family, support should be offered along the way. More awareness of the issues could help the government in their plight to uphold the targets in the child poverty act. As many people are not aware of the seriousness of the situation partly because of the media and their constant coverage of famine and dying children in the developing world (End child poverty, 2013).