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UK child poverty - still of huge concern - how can it be sorted?

(86 Posts)
PersephoneSnape Wed 01-Oct-08 11:03:47

Whilst I appreciate that poverty in the UK is relative and that there are billions of children worldwide who are far worse off, I found this news story very unsettling yesterday –

The government has various targets designed to half child poverty by 2020 – and it doesn’t seem to be working quickly or going far enough.

What are your thoughts? Any solutions?

usuallytooshytochat Wed 01-Oct-08 11:23:48

equally appalled at child poverty in UK - did you see Jamie Oliver in Rotherham last night? One more horrendous example of how poverty shapes eating habits, health, attitudes to alcohol and tobacco etc. I blame capitalism - which lets banks, pharmaceutical comps and supermarkets overcharge poor people for inferior goods - and make it sound as if they are doing you a favour 2for1 6-pack of crisps anyone? But what is the alternative?

nametaken Wed 01-Oct-08 22:43:20

How about this for an alternative to the 2for1 saturated fat and salt-laden turkey twizzlers:

"make healthy food cheaper"

Individuals have to take some responsibility for their actions too. It's no good not working (where you're perfectly capable of working and have child-care in place blah blah) and then complaining your children are poor.

nametaken Wed 01-Oct-08 22:44:11

And don't even get me started on absent arsehole fathers who don't financially support their kids.

Nighbynight Fri 03-Oct-08 09:44:55

Well I solved my childrens poverty in the UK - I emigrated.

nametaken, I was working full time, but we never got out of the poverty trap.

Nighbynight Fri 03-Oct-08 09:45:53

sorry, first sentence is ambiguous - we have a much better life now.

PersephoneSnape Fri 03-Oct-08 11:44:14

equally astounded that this thread has so few responses.

I made a point of watching the jamie oliver thing on catch up tv last night - although he is a little bit irritating, I did find prog interesting - the fact that people did want to change and learn about diet was good, but i think these kind of things have previous tended to parachute in and then leave people to their own devices - hopefully this won't be the case this time.

we've always cooked - my mum cooked a meak from scratch every night when she got in from work and aside from takeaway treat once a month when i get paid, my kids get the same. sometimes, yes, it is oven chips and a chop and frozen veg, but more often it's pasta/roast/proper meal.

a child born in some constituencies in Glasgow has a life expectancy of 54 - thats 9 years less than in parts of India. of-54-86908-20715552/

in the news today - scotland is introcucing free school dinners for all P1 - P3 children by 2010. i think this is fantastic

expatinscotland Fri 03-Oct-08 11:47:17

i think poverty in housing and fuel poverty are the greatest forms of poverty in this country.

and will be the last to be addressed because people get rich from high energy and housing costs.

and i agree with nametaken 100%.

much of the child poverty in this nation is at least in part a direct result of lack of personal responsibility.

Peachy Fri 03-Oct-08 11:52:02

The Scottish thing is fab- m envy but only if the local school dinners pewople get teir allergy policy sorted- gave dairy ntol and gf ds1 lasagne yeserday <<sigh>>

There are still too many barriers to escaping the povety trap. Kids who go to Uni get saddled with massive loans to do so even if training for not-that-well-paid for graduate jobs (health, teaching etc); carers who studt ft lose their benefits; carers who cannot work get a pittance (I get £50.51, which i counted as income for wtc), childcare is still patchy- no idea where I am supposed to get it for ds1 with his form of SN!

There should be suport for those trying to change their situations by studying for example (surely its logic a lone parent at uni is long term going to be not only better off, but likly to have child that values education too?, or whose situaton is unchangeable.

Upwind Fri 03-Oct-08 11:59:17

what can really be done about the lack of personal responsibility? I watched that Jamie Oliver programme and saw people in spacious comfortable homes with all mod cons who were not working and yet not willing to take the time to prepare food for their children. The problem was not lack of money it was their reluctance to consider a healthier lifestyle.

Agree with Expat "i think poverty in housing and fuel poverty are the greatest forms of poverty in this country."

People really ignore the problems faced by people who are not entitled to social housing in this country - the insecurity and inadequacy of both private rentals and the wretched over priced "starter" flats is truly miserable.

Bridie3 Fri 03-Oct-08 12:05:40

How can it be that our prosperous, education-obsessed society can produce young parents who don't have the basic skills to cook a cheap and nutritious meal for their children, eg, toasted cheese, jacket potatoes with beans? Or to make them a piece of toast with peanut butter and finish with a banana.

Something more than money is at stake. I'd scrap Food Technology at school and replace it with Cookery. Make sure that every child leaving can cook a couple of basics.

My mum taught me to cook and it's probably the most useful thing you can do for your children. [REMINDS SELF to let daughter help with supper even though it will take longer and be messier.]

Peachy Fri 03-Oct-08 12:13:13

Agee bridie- and as i said on another thread, once you can cook one or two things and understand what whisk, fold, poach etc mean then you can cook anyhing with a book.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Oct-08 12:14:46

you don't even need a book.

you can use your broadband access wink to download vid demos from YouTube.

if it's so hard to turn on a cooker, why do we have to keep little kids away from them hmm.

again, there's an element of personal responsibility and motivation utterly lacking.

Peachy Fri 03-Oct-08 12:21:23

'if it's so hard to turn on a cooker, why do we have to keep little kids away from them'

I bet most people who cant use their ovens are really mc types who boght an Aga
with their house!

Is this a case for mass provision of cook with mama (wii version) in Primaries? wink

seriously- I don't know anyone who cant turn on an oven.

Upwind Fri 03-Oct-08 12:22:56

So there are two kinds of poverty which need to be tackled in different ways. The kind caused by people stretching too much to pay for accomodation etc and then drowning when unforeseen bills come along, and the kind caused by a lack of personal responsibility.

The social welfare system could be and should be reformed to help people as much as possible with the former. But as for the latter? I don't know that anything can really be done about it.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Oct-08 12:27:47

seriously, though, there's a lot of blame and abdication of responsibility that a lot of people pick up in the home. it's a culture of enabling nad entitlement and it really doesn't help in the long run.

the: 'oh, poor you' or 'he/she had a bad upbringing', depression, addiction, even some disabilities.

it's not an excuse but if you keep telling people that or making them believe that well then you wind up with a real mess on your hands.

because motivation - even to turn on a cooker - has to come from inside at one level or another.

it's like stopping smoking, you can nag a person from now till the world ends but if they don't really want to be a non smoker it won't work. that's why i never nag smokers like DH. it's pointless.

been depressed. am now. fucking hard as hell just to go peg out the wash. but who's going to do it then? why make my kids pay for that? it's not their fault and if i wanted to wallow then i shouldn't have had kids.

disability. i hate it when people use this because it makes discriminating against people like DH and DD1 excusable. there are some disabilities of course that preclude a person from doing basic things in life, of course. but to assume all people with disabilities have the excuse of not needing to function or participate fully in society burns me up because it's not true and it's a waste!

dh watched that Jamie show and kept saying, 'If David Blunkett could cook a meal from start to finish when he can't see anything then these folks have no excuse.'

and you know, it's sort of true!

if you enable people to be hopeless, well, you reap what you sow.

time4tea Fri 03-Oct-08 12:28:40

sorry bumping here

there's a big march on Ending Child Poverty tomorrow in Central London, with easy link to email Gordon Brown, if you can't make the march

agree that Jamie Oliver programme was disturbing, more because of the lack of hope apparent with lots of people, plus power of media rather than anything else to change things.... hoping that it works out well. Interesting how Jamie O has managed to make links across what most would see as social class divides (using the Sun as a vehicle - can't imagine Delia/Nigella/Gordon Ramsay doing that) His heart certainly seems to be in the right place, and he has access to power through media and govt. very interesting and good luck to it

Peachy Fri 03-Oct-08 12:34:45

'to assume all people with disabilities have the excuse of not needing to function or participate fully in society burns me up because it's not true and it's a waste!


absolutely true but you have to beware of the converse, the times peole have said on here for example that 'all disabled people can do somethng' when clearly thats not true. I think (hard to tell) I have one of each type.

What we have to learn to do is not see people as labels at all, but as individuals.

Upwind Fri 03-Oct-08 12:36:35

time4tea - I just looked at that campaign website and I actively dissaprove.

There is no definition of child poverty given - is it in absolute or relative terms and if the latter, do the figures actually mean anything?

I can't find any indication as to what the campaign is intended to achieve, besides a lot of noise and pats on the backs for those involved. HOW is the government to end child poverty, what actions do you want them to take?

nametaken Fri 03-Oct-08 12:57:50

oh no no no no no

The free school dinners in Scottish schools is not FAB.

First they gave free breakfast clubs because some children were'nt getting breakfast.

Now they're giving free lunches because some children aren't getting proper lunches.

In another 5 years, there will be extended school days with the schools feeding children their tea.

That's just one step away from an orphanage.

I don't know just what the bloody hell is going on in Glasgow in particular, but they need to be very worried that the state is having to step in and provide basic human needs, instead, they just think they've hit the jackpot.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Oct-08 13:02:33

they have not give councils any money to pay for these 'free' lunches.

so no, not good.

there's no such thing as a free lunch and they've already got thousands of children going to school in buildings that are completely unsafe and even need to be condemned.

nametaken Fri 03-Oct-08 13:08:40


And this just in:

expat and nametaken agreed on something.

FioFio Fri 03-Oct-08 13:14:36

Message withdrawn

expatinscotland Fri 03-Oct-08 13:14:59

this is just one school that needs entirely replaced and has done for years.

there are more around Scotland that are in dire need of repair or enlargement.

more important for kids to go to a school that is a safe learning environment and has heating that works than giving free lunches to all 5-7 year olds.

just a publicity move, IMO.

EffiePerine Fri 03-Oct-08 13:15:25

yyy to personal responsibility

there is so much of 'oh dear, what a shame, it isn't her fault that blah blah blah'

people do manage to bring up their families in difficult circs (mine being a good case in point)

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