Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

Campaign toolkit

Want to do your bit to end child poverty?
Here’s the facts – and how you can play your part

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MPs could:

  • Launch or sign up as sponsors of a local end child poverty campaign;
  • Approach local media to back the campaign – local papers and radio stations could get behind it.

Local authorities could:

  • Declare that they aim to be a ‘child-poverty-free zone’;
  • Pledge to audit services for children and families and increase provision if needed;
  • Launch a ‘Families First’ hotline where parents could get information on issues like health, childcare, education, benefits and tax credits;
  • Sponsor a ‘Families First’ day in their community – when there could be events for families; sponsored clean-ups of local parks/places where kids play, children’s services in local libraries, etc;
  • Run ‘Claim It’ campaigns for Working Families’ Tax Credit, Children’s Tax Credit and Childcare Tax Credit;
  • Pledge to ensure safe play spaces for children in poor neighbourhoods to reduce accident levels;
  • Promote their local Children’s Fund.

Trade unions and CLP members could:

  • Encourage employers to set up payroll giving schemes to raise money for local children’s charities;
  • Encourage employers to give staff time off to volunteer in community-based family projects.

Local businesses could:

  • Donate money to their local Children’s Fund;
  • Support mentoring programmes like Big Brothers and Sisters to help local kids by providing funds and staff members to be mentors.

Faith organisations could:

  • Promote a concern with child poverty at home as well as abroad; 
  •  Encourage members to give to children’s causes;
  • Run family support services e.g. mums and toddler groups.

Under the Tories:

  • One in three children lived in poverty;
  • The number of children living in low-income households more than doubled;
  • The UK had the highest rate of relative child poverty in the EU.

Labour’s goal is to halve child poverty by 2010 and eradicate it within a generation. Our strategy involves:

  • Decent family incomes – work for those who can, support for those who can’t;
  • High quality public services for all – extra targeted measures for those with additional needs;
  • Support for parents to provide better support for their children;
  • Empowering and working with the voluntary and community sectors; Labour’s measures:
  • A record rise in Child Benefit – up from £11.05 to £15.50 for the first child;
  • Children’s Tax Credit (CTC) – up to £10 a week for around 5 million families;
  • From April 2002, the CTC will be worth up to £20 a week in the year of a child’s birth;
  • he Working Families’ Tax Credit – 1.3 million families on average £35 a week better off;
  • Allowances in Income Support for children under 11 up 80% in real terms;
  • A new tax credit for families with children – the Child Tax Credit in 2003;
  • New Sure Start programme with a budget of £500 million covering around a third of poor children by 2004;
  • Investment in education is rising by over 5% a year; 
  •  A new £900m Neighbourhood Renewal Fund for the most deprived areas;
  • A new £450 million Children’s Fund to improve services;
  •  Health Action Zones to improve health in the poorest communities;
  • Tough targets and £7.3 billion over three years to improve sub-standard social housing; Achievements so far:
  • 1.2 million fewer children in poverty than there would otherwise have been;
  • 300,000 fewer children in households where no-one works;
  • Families with children an average £1,000 a year better off;
  • The poorest families with children on average £1,700 a year better off;
  • A family with two young children on half average earnings is £3,000 a year better off.

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