Manifesto for a child poverty free London published today in response to new poverty statistics

The London Child Poverty Alliance, a group of charities committed to tackling child poverty in the city, has today published its Manifesto for a child poverty free London, with funding from Trust for London. The Alliance is asking prospective councillors to pledge to working towards a child poverty free London and is putting forward a set of actions they must take to make this happen.

"New statistics released today show 3.9 million children were living in poverty in the UK in 2020/21.[1] Now in 2022, as a result of £20 cut to Universal Credit last October, this figure is likely to be much higher. The cost-of-living crisis is acute for families in London, and they need help like never before. 34% of Londoners have struggled to pay their household bills in the last six months, with 13% struggling to make ends meet, going without essentials or relying on credit.[2]

“It is a matter of urgency that those seeking election to London councils this May prioritise tackling child poverty in their communities. While decisions taken by national government may have the greatest impact on families’ incomes, it is essential that local government plays its part to relieve the extreme pressure on the budgets of low-income families with children.

“The London Child Poverty Alliance, a group of charities committed to tackling child poverty in the city, has today published its Manifesto for a child poverty free London. The Alliance is asking prospective councillors to pledge to working towards a child poverty free London and is putting forward a set of actions they must take to make this happen.

These include:

  • ACTION ON INCOME: Review Council Tax Reduction schemes to minimise the amount of tax paid by household with children in poverty and review Local Welfare Assistance schemes to ensure that the funds available are adequate to meet the need in their borough.
  • ACTION ON HOUSING: Build more social housing. We are asking local authorities to ensure properties are built with a commitment to social rents, so that the more than 86,000 children who are homeless & living in temporary accommodation in London can be housed.[3]
  • ACTION ON CHILDCARE: Consider how local early years funding could be used more creatively and complemented from additional sources, to increase provision for children who would disproportionately benefit from it.
  • ACTION ON HUNGER: Take a cash-first approach to tackling food poverty and actively promote a local food poverty alliance.”

Manny Hothi, Chief Executive, Trust for London said: “In the face of the harshest cost of living crisis in a generation, there are actions that councils can take to help those impacted most heavily. With worse still to come, there should be no delay implementing the ideas put forward in the LCPA manifesto.”

Katherine Hill, Strategic Project Manager, 4in10 London’s Child Poverty Network said: “Despite the rhetoric of ‘levelling up’ which often paints a picture of London’s streets being paved with gold, for many in our city the reality is very different. We are calling on those who are seeking Londoners’ votes in these elections to commit to the actions set out in this manifesto so that children across the city are guaranteed their basic human rights to a safe and warm home and healthy food.”

[1] Households below average income (March 2022)

[2] Greater London Authority (February 2022) The rising cost of living and its effects on Londoners

[3] MHCLG, Statutory homelessness live tables, Detailed local authority level tables: July to September 2021, Table TA1

Download the Manifesto