PROPER funding for social security is essential in eradicating child poverty, trade unionists said yesterday.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has reported that there are now four million children living in poverty in Britain.
But the Tory government has repealed most of the Child Poverty Act, which had stated targets were to be met by 2020, the teachers’ union ATL said at yesterday’s TUC Women’s Conference.
The ATL told delegates that children living in poverty are three times more likely to suffer from mental-health issues and suffer from long-term poor health.
Public-sector union PCS said that circumstances depicted in Ken Loach’s hit film Daniel Blake represent reality as sanctions have increased for lone parents from 150 to 5,000 a month since 2012.
The union condemned further cuts from April 6 which will deprive women of child benefit for their third and subsequent children — unless they can prove they were conceived during rape. PCS workers — untrained to do so — would have to assess the mothers.
PCS delegate Christine Cuthbert said: “It is wrong to remove money from the poorest in society. It will increase poverty and it won’t make work pay.” Conference heard that 98 per cent of schools are losing funding in the biggest cuts to education for 25 years.
The NUT’s Sarah Tomlinson said that £3 billion in cuts will see a restructure in teaching assistants and further cuts to teaching jobs.
She condemned the Tory Budget announcement that a further 140 selective schools would be created, saying that “money is going to the shires as they tend to vote Tory.
“This scheme won’t serve the needs most of our children or the poorest.”
The NUT is calling for a national march for education and urging parents to get involved in a campaign to highlight the issue on Twitter using the hashtag: #schoolsjustwannahavefunds.