Child poverty not all gloom

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In response to Coun Peter Wood’s letter on child poverty, Mr Quinn makes spurious claims about the Conservatives and child poverty.

Reports published in June 2015 make interesting reading and counter Mr Quinn’s claims.

Mark Easton, home editor for the BBC, reported on June 25: 

“The “experts” are scratching their heads. Today was the day, we were told, when we’d see a sharp rise in poverty as official figures included the full impact of welfare cuts for the first time.

But, instead, the numbers have remained broadly flat and the Government is able to claim that “the proportion of individuals with low income is now at the lowest level since the mid-1980s”.

He further reported that Jonathan Cribb, from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the child poverty figures appeared to have remained stable despite cuts to working age benefits because of the rise in employment.

“That seems to have off-set the impact of cuts to working age benefits which will have suppressed incomes,” he said.

The data for 2013-14 includes figures suggesting the number of children living in relative poverty, before housing costs were taken into account, was 100,000 lower than the previous year.

Mr Quinn when comparing performance on child poverty should look to reports published by the City of Sunderland Council. A report submitted to the West Area Committee in 2011 showed quite clearly that child poverty in Sunderland increased between 2006 and 2009. Yes, under a Labour Government.

When making such inflammatory statement as this country “deliberately puts hundreds of thousands of children into child poverty”, Mr Quinn should reflect on the performance of all governments.

Alan Wright