The stark figures released by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission last week highlight the real challenges facing young people in the UK.
The most sobering statistic is that 3.5 million children will be in absolute poverty by 2020 – the very year that the Government’s aim of eradicating child poverty will expire. The Commission’s damning assessment in response to the Government’s draft child poverty strategy 2014 to 2017 is that the Coalition is not doing nearly enough to address the problem.
But as Labour grandee and chair of the Commission the Rt Hon Alan Milburn points out, this is an issue that transcends party political point scoring. Poverty is a-political, cross-generational and global – with 3 million children dying every year due to malnutrition, according to the Enough Food for Everyone campaign.
Milburn says: “This is not just an issue for the current Government. Politicians from all parties say they are committed to the 2020 targets. Willing the ends without the means today merely becomes a broken promise tomorrow. Across the political spectrum, party leaders now need to come clean about what they plan to do to hit the targets, or what progress they can deliver if they expect to fall short.”
It is a problem that LandAid is only too aware of. Despite an improving economy, falling unemployment figures and rising house prices in the UK, many communities are being left behind. The sad fact is we are dealing with children and young people in families who have known nothing but depressed living standards for generations.
You don’t even need to venture outside of London and the south east to see it. There is lots of talk about London being the engine of economic growth and attractive to international property investors – but many of the projects we support which have the greatest need work with children in Westminster, Kennington, Tower Hamlets and Newham.
Join our campaign today and help LandAid make a bigger difference to disadvantaged young lives.