The Guardian is reporting that MPs and charities have stated that political focus on reducing child poverty has been lost after the government has abolished a child poverty unit.
Ministers have abolished the civil service’s once high-profile child poverty unit, prompting warnings from MPs and charities that political focus on the issue has been abandoned by Theresa May.
The admission came in answers to parliamentary questions, which revealed that the team set up under Tony Blair’s government has been subsumed into the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), after seeing its staffing halved in three years.
Dan Jarvis, the Labour MP whose questioning uncovered the closure, said the decision ran contrary to the May’s pledge to govern on the basis of social justice and equal life chances.
There were 3.9 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2014-15, according to DWP figures quoted by the Child Poverty Action Group, amounting to 28% of all children in the UK.
The child poverty unit was jointly run by the DWP, the Department for Education (DfE) and the Treasury and was formerly one of the government’s most high profile organisations devoted to improving social mobility.
Charities dealing with child poverty described the news as alarming and likely to mean child poverty becoming less of a priority for May’s government.
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