The Poverty Of The United Kingdom Essay

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Child-contingent support In the United Kingdom, a commitment 'to end child poverty forever ' was a stated key ambition of the incoming Labour administration in 1997 (Blair, 1999). Many of the measures designed to achieve this outcome (or the marginally more modest intention to halve child poverty by 2010) were about the provision of new or enhanced services rather than the transfer of resources. Stewart (2013, 5) estimates that spending on child-contingent benefits and tax credits more or less doubled across the period of Labour government, while child-related services saw a dramatic increase from around £ 671 per child in 1997/8 to £2,514 per child in 2009/10. Part of this increase related to the Sure Start programme and the funded expansion of early education. There was also legislation to increase the duration of maternity leave and to implement statutory paternity leave. A commitment to lowering staff-pupil ratios in state schools was part of a (long-term) investment in the well-being of children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Increased expenditure on pre-school childcare was also seen as easing the route back to work for mothers with young children (Stewart 2013). There was a further step-change in the resources directed to children (via their parents). This included an increase in the universal child benefit where spending increased in real terms (at 2009/10 prices) from £9,134 million (in 1997/8) to £12,460 million (in 2009/10). There was
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