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Child Poverty

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th June 2011.

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Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to reduce child poverty in (a) the London borough of Bexley and (b) London.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The national child poverty strategy, published on 5 April this year, sets out how we will reduce child poverty across the UK. In addition to setting out how national reforms—such as the introduction of universal credit—will help reduce child poverty across the UK, the strategy also sets out local areas’ key role in tackling child poverty. Through decentralising power, reducing bureaucracy and greater local accountability we are giving local areas the freedom they need to tackle the particular root causes of child poverty in their area; for example the first phase of community budgets aimed at tackling families with multiple problems are being implemented in 16 local areas including eight London boroughs.

The universal credit will support those who do the right thing, who take a full-time job to have an income which lifts them out of poverty. Our proposed design should enable most families with children who have a parent in full-time employment to have an income that lifts them out of poverty. The same should apply for lone parents who work at least 24 hours a week or more. The six contractors for London were announced in April and the programme will be rolled-out in London over the coming months.

The strategy also sets put the Child Poverty Core Offer of sector-led support that is available to all local authorities to help them implement their duties to reduce child poverty under Part 2 of the Child Poverty Act 2010. As part of the Government’s wider goal to free-up policy delivery to target local need, we will continue to push power away from the centre to local government, communities and voluntary sectors, to help those families in difficulties make their voices heard.

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