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Millions of British children born since 2010 have only known poverty. My £3bn plan would give them hope | Gordon Brown

Millions of British children born since 2010 have only known poverty. My £3bn plan would give them hope | Gordon Brown

Millions of British children born since 2010 have only known poverty. My £3bn plan would give them hope | Gordon Brown
May 14, 2024 1 min, 6 secs

April 2013 saw the first blanket cuts in means-tested benefits, when the inflation link was breached – with tax credits for working-age people uprated by only 1%.

Now half of families with children lose up to 25% of their benefit each month and in some cases 30%, making the Department for Work and Pensions the biggest debt collector in the country.

In the 2000s, a poor child on free school meals living near a Sure Start centre, who would otherwisehave been expected to be awarded only DDD in their GCSEs, would be more likely to get three Cs.

“Results imply,” the Institute for Fiscal Studies concluded, “that, even without accounting for the full range of potential effects, the benefits to society from the improvements in education outcomes … equate to more than the costs of the programme at its peak in 2010.” But the 74% cut in council spending on Sure Start, which closed 1,200 centres, began as early as 2011 and coincided with ministers cutting overall spending on education, which, since 2010, has suffered “historically large real-term cuts in spending per pupil” according to the IFS.

Everyone understands that the parlous fiscal position makes it difficult to restore vital services overnight, but there are options that reflect the urgency of the need for action.

He could reduce both poverty and the universal credit bill by upskilling 1 million low-paid workers into higher paid jobs.

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