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With this Ferrero Rocher, you’re really spoiling us

Most of us in the office today were expecting to be shouting “bah humbug!” at the TV while watching Darling’s pre-budget report, but instead there was cause for a few cheers. Darling hasn’t entirely forgotten children in poverty this Christmas. He’s going to raise child benefits by 30p per child a week. That’s almost enough to buy a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.

What we’re really pleased about is that the government listened to two of our policy calls on free school meals and school uniforms.

Extending free school meals to primary school pupils to all families on full tax credits (up to about £16k income) will benefit about half a million children and raise 50,000 children out of poverty. Half of local authorities will introduce it in Sept 2010, and the remainder in 2011.

Back in August we highlighted the fact that half of parents can’t afford to send their children back to school, and called on the government to ensure families who are struggling to afford school costs can at least get a uniform grant from their local authority. The government will support local authorities providing grants for school uniforms to further target support for vulnerable families.

It’s great to see the government take steps in the right direction to end child poverty in the UK, but these steps need to turn into a brisk walk or jog if we are to keep on track and eradicate child poverty by 2020.

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