Hard times do not mean we cannot afford to tackle child poverty. Outgoing Barnardo’s chief executive Martin Narey argues that we cannot afford not to.
When I joined Barnardo’s some people were puzzled by my switch from director general of the prison service. But the logic was clear to me: the main link between my old world and Barnardo’s is disadvantage and poverty and child poverty in particular.
I believe the UK is a fine place for most of our children, but for a large and troubling minority that affluence is something they only see on TV. We have a battle on our hands with child poverty and I worry that its importance has tumbled down the political priority list for both the coalition and the opposition.
One reason, I believe, is due to a sudden and inexplicable emergence of a consensus that income poverty doesn’t really matter. It is certainly the case that poverty is about more than just income and it is right to be looking at early intervention and to refocus Sure Start on the neediest families. (more…)