Current child poverty targets miss the point entirely

Ruth Porter writes for ConservativeHome

 

The fact that the government will almost certainly miss its child poverty targets was the cheery news from Alan Milburn this week. What has been missed in the discussion though is that the current measures of poverty are so absurd as to be almost irrelevant.

The government is bound by a system of measurement set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010. The headline measure defines child poverty rates based on the number of children living in households whose income falls below 60% of the median income. This bears little relationship to what poverty actually looks like.

People are poor when they cannot participate in society. This means not being able to afford the basics, like housing, clothing and food etc., but it also means not being able to play a meaningful part in what is happening around them – probably in 2011, this means things like not being able to pay for the internet. The way we currently measure poverty for the child poverty targets completely fails to take this into account.

Read the rest of the article at ConservativeHome.

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