Mayoral manifesto calls for more action to tackle child poverty
A coalition of charities are calling for action from the next Mayor to make London more family friendly and to tackle child poverty. The manifesto has 15 key challenges for candidates and has been endorsed by Trust for London, 4in10, Children England, Child Poverty Action Group, Citizens UK, Daycare Trust, Gingerbread, LVSC, Toynbee Hall, Save the Children, Shelter, Women Like Us and Zaccheus 2000.
Opinion polling by YouGov of 1,219 Londoners found a clear majority of families were more likely to vote for a candidate who pledged more affordable housing (63%), made employers pay the London Living Wage (61%), encouraged employers to offer flexible working hours (60%), delivered more affordable and flexible childcare (59%), or did more to promote information about the help available with living costs (54%). Londoners across the board were particularly supportive of policies on affordable housing (67% more likely to support a candidate pledging action in this area), and the living wage (62%).
The poll also revealed:
- Over 140,000 families (14%) don't yet know who they will vote for. More than 1 in 4 (26%) families with dependent children are unsure which candidate's policies were the most family friendly, indicating candidates must do more to engage with this crucial issue.
- As well as being the lead choice of families vote (48% Livingstone to 35% Johnson), Ken Livingstone is also the most trusted candidate on tackling child poverty with 37% backing him to do the best job compared to 13% backing Boris Johnson.
An event for parents to hear how Mayoral candidates plan to improve access to childcare, housing, advice services, and flexible jobs will take place on Tuesday 1st May 5pm-6.30pm. Professionals who work with families are also welcome. Register online.
Alison Garnham a spokesperson for the coalition said:
"With over 140,000 families undecided, and only 1 in 4 clear on which candidate offers the best deal, the family vote is set to be a key battleground in deciding who will be London's next Mayor.
"It is now vital that candidates listen to their concerns and commit to make London more family friendly by making work more flexible, childcare and housing more affordable and delivering better information for parents.
"Committing to these vital issues might not only be key to winning the upcoming election, but is also a first step towards tackling London's shockingly high levels of child poverty."
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,219 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 12th March 2012. The survey was carried out online. 320 of those polled had children in the household, and are referred to here as 'families' compared to 861 who did not. For a full copy of the polling data please contact Kate Bell, Child Poverty Action Group - 020 7812 5210 or email@example.com
- The ONS estimate there are 1.02 million families with dependent children in the capital, based on data from the Labour Force Survey. 14 per cent of those polled with children in the household do not yet know who to vote for.