Skip to main content

Government’s response to report on measuring child poverty published

6 December 2021

The Work and Pensions Committee publishes the Government’s response to its report on measuring child poverty.

The Committee’s report, published in September, called on the Government to commit to a cross-departmental strategy to reduce the number of children living in poverty in the UK. The Government rejects the Committee’s recommendation, with the response highlighting the DWP’s focus on getting people into work through the Plan for Jobs as its main approach to tackling poverty.

On data and measurements, the Government’s response refers to work to develop an interactive tool related to indicators of child poverty but stops short of accepting the Committee’s recommendation of developing a single dashboard.

In response to the Committee’s call to widen its focus beyond just absolute poverty, the Government reaffirms its commitment to measuring poverty through all four measures of children in low income as set out in the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016.

Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“An obvious first step for Ministers should be to come up with a comprehensive cross-departmental strategy to ensure all of Government is on the same page when it comes to lifting children out of poverty. While the focus on helping people get back into work is important, this risks neglecting some of the wider causes of why families may be struggling to get by.

The Government should now commit to developing a proper strategy with measurable objectives so it can be held to account for reducing child poverty and helping a generation of young people who would otherwise face poorer outcomes later in life.”

Further information

Image: CCO