Abandoning child poverty duties marks the return of the ‘Nasty Party’, says TUC

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1 July 2015

The announcement today (Wednesday) by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith that current targets and duties in the Child Poverty Act will be scrapped is a u-turn from the Prime Minister’s previous commitments, says the TUC.

In 2006 David Cameron said: “I want this message to go out loud and clear: the Conservative Party recognises, will measure and will act on relative poverty. Poverty is relative – and those who pretend otherwise are wrong.”

In 2007 David Cameron said: “We can make British poverty history, and we will make British poverty history.”

In response to today’s announcement, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“This announcement marks the return of the ‘Nasty Party’ and is a further nail in the coffin for one-nation conservatism.

“Abandoning the child poverty targets, instead of delivering fair pay and a decent welfare safety net, is a desperate act from a government that knows its policies will push at least a million more children into poverty.

“The Child Poverty Act already includes duties on the government to take action on parenting skills, parental employment, housing, education, childcare and child health. Without the child poverty targets and duties, ministers will get away with doing nothing except watching poverty rates rise.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- David Cameron’s 2006 comments were made when he delivered the Scarman Lecture on 22 November 2006. The full text can be found at http://conservative-speeches.sayit.mysociety.org/speech/599937

- David Cameron’s 2007 comments were made when he delivered a speech at Chance UK on 16 October 2007. The full text can be found at http://conservative-speeches.sayit.mysociety.org/speech/599767

- The Child Poverty Act 2010 includes four measures of child poverty – relative poverty, absolute poverty, persistent poverty and material deprivation. It also includes duties on the government to have a strategy that includes parenting skills, parental employment, housing, education, childcare and child health (see section 9(5) of the act www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/9/contents).

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
 

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