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Modern Robin Hood forgot to give to the poor

Alistair Darling is already being called Robin Hood, except he’s taking from the rich but – unlike Robin – is not giving to the poor.

The government set a target to half child poverty by 2010 and eradicate it by 2020. What a great promise to make to the children of this country. Research shows that children in poverty do not get a fair chance in life, they often feel stigmatized and isolated, leading to feelings of shame and a lack of self worth. A lack of income significantly affects early child development and life chances but evidence suggests that children’s behaviour, happiness and educational attainment all improve as incomes rise.

You would think that this evidence would be enough for the government to at least try and keep the promise they made to end child poverty. On top of this we’ve provided lots of reasons why keeping that promise would benefit this country.

Giving money to low income families will provide a boost to the economy. Any money that goes towards low income families is quickly spent on necessities for their children. This helps the local economy at a time when many other people are making cuts to their spending.

All other wealthy G8 nations have invested in low income families as a way to boost the economy. That is apart from Russia and the UK.

We launched our financial crisis grants to show the government that a small lump sum of money can make a big difference to families in poverty. We did it because it was the right thing to do, but also to show the government that lasting change for these families has to come from the government, if we are to break the cycle of poverty for children.

Not fixing child poverty is expensive. Recent research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals that the economic costs of educational failure, health inequality, disability and social breakdown from child poverty is over £25bn a year – or £1,000 for every UK household.

The £20 a year addition to tax credits for children in poverty – that’s £140 million – is looking pretty lightweight in comparison to what it costs if a child remains living in poverty.

A child living in poverty in the UK should be something you read about in history books, not something that over 3 million children experience everyday.

But we are here to let the government and the children in the UK know that we haven’t given up on ending child poverty.

You can help by donating to our UK Child Poverty Appeal.

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