This Government are committed to abolishing child poverty within a generation and halving it by 2010. As part of this commitment, we recently published a strategy document entitled "Tackling child poverty: giving every child the best possible start in life", which will inform the Budget and Spending Review 2002. As a result of tax and benefit changes announced in the last Parliament, there are now 1.2 million fewer children in poverty than there would otherwise have been.
During this Parliament, the Government will continue to make progress towards their goals with the introduction of two new tax credits—the child tax credit and the working tax credit. The Government are also making substantial new investments in services for children. Over the four years to 2004, average real-terms annual growth in spending on education and training in England will be over 5½ per cent. In addition, extra funds have been made available for SureStart, Neighbourhood Renewal and the Children's Fund.