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Child Poverty -Tackling equality of opportunity for the next generation

Child poverty may be the single biggest determining factor of equality of opportunity in society. The TUC have published a briefing which has revealed while there has been some success in reducing child poverty, the gap between the top tenth and bottom tenth of the population has doubled since 1979.



Entitled

“Poverty and inequality and children”

the briefing finds that poverty impacts the health, education and wellbeing of children. Children from poor families are more prone to infant mortality, health conditions, develop mental problems and behavioural problems at schools.



The

End child Poverty Campaign

estimates that there are up to three million children who are locked into a cycle of poverty which they can’t escape and will pass down through the generations. The charity has more than 130 organisations, including children’s charities, trade unions and faith groups, that will challenge the Government to keep the promise to end child poverty in the UK. They are organising possibly one of the biggest ever rallies of its kind at Trafalgar Square, on Saturday, October 4th 2008



The TUC are one of the key supporters of the organisation, commenting on the findings of the briefing TUC General Secretary

Brendan Barber

said:



'We need to take action to reduce inequality now. The causes of inequality are widespread, but the remedies for inequality are far clearer - raising the skill levels of those without qualifications, and tackling the gender pay gap would be a good start.

'All the evidence shows that countries with a greater degree of equality also have more social mobility. That is why the TUC supports End Child Poverty's call for an extra £3 billion worth of benefits and tax credits for children, and that is why unions are supporting ECP's 'Keep the Promise' demonstration on 4 October in London.'

The briefing recommends reducing original income inequality, by:

  • Raising the skill levels of people with low or no qualifications;
  • Addressing discrimination against women workers, especially on the grounds of motherhood;
  • Removing the pay penalty that workers face if they work part-time;
  • Strengthening the position of vulnerable workers, by introducing stronger rights for agency workers, and better enforcing existing rights such as the national minimum wage;
  • Promoting unions and collective bargaining - most economists are agreed that weaker unions offer part of the explanation for growing inequality.

Poverty and inequality and children is available at www.tuc.org.uk/extras/povertyandchildren.doc

posted by

Dizali Mentha
Associate Publisher

 

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