As what was supposed to be an historic social policy milestone is missed, a new Deltapoll survey prompts fears that supposedly-binding carbon targets could go the same wayby Stephen Fisher / March 31, 2020 / Leave a comment
Twenty years ago, as these infographics highlight, the British government vowed to end child poverty by 2020. That promise was put into law ten years ago, specifically setting targets for the financial year that starts this week. Those targets were removed four years ago. Official statistics say at least one in 10 children are in “low income and material deprivation” and that one in three children are poor by other measures.
Deltapoll presented much of that information to a representative sample of 1,545 adults in Britain between 13th and 16th March this year. Respondents were then asked, “Which of the following do you think should be the government’s approach to dealing with child poverty?” and gave the following answers.
Even though the Covid-19 crisis was tightening its grip as the survey was conducted, the vast majority still thought child poverty was important, with only 3 per cent suggesting that its reduction should not be a priority.
However, people are divided on what they think can be done: one third think we should “just try to reduce child poverty rather than end it, because it is too difficult to end completely.”
Only a small majority, 54 per cent, want the government to try to end child poverty, and that group is fairly evenly divided over whether to set a new legal deadline. So barely a quarter of respondents actually wants the government to “put a new target date into law to end child poverty.”
Unsurprisingly, reinstating a target set by the Blair and Brown governments is more popular among Labour voters (32 per cent) than among Conservative voters (22 per cent).
But that difference is not large, perhaps reflecting the cross-party support for the target back at the time, when the young David Cameron, then in “modernising” mode, embraced it. In 2009, before the child poverty target became law, the British Social Attitudes survey found that some 82 per cent thought that child poverty reduction was “very important” and 79 per cent thought…