Towards a Better Child Poverty Target with Rt Hon Frank Field MP

30 April 2012 12:30

Towards a Better Child Poverty Target with Rt Hon Frank Field MP


You can see the slides from the event here.

Before the end of June the results of the 2010 child poverty targets will be announced. It is expected that these targets will have been missed. This has raised questions not only about the Government’s performance on child poverty but on how it is measured. In the UK, child poverty is principally measured by household income. Some, including Policy Exchange, have argued that this approach fails to address the root causes of poverty, and help the households most in need.

This event will examine a number of areas:

  • When thinking about child poverty, how should we balance childrens’ future opportunities  against their current circumstances?  Do we want a target that is forward looking, or focussed on the here-and-now?
  • Which childhood factors are most likely to lead to bad outcomes for them when they grow up?
  • What are the most potent root causes of future poverty? And what are the most (cost) effective ways for the government to tackle them?
  • How much of a role should household income play in identifying children who are growing up in hardship, compared to other dimensions of poverty?
  • In what direction does the current child poverty target push public policy?  Does it encourage policy makers to be too short-termist?
  • What alternatives are there to the current target?


CHAIR | Neil O'Brien | Director | Policy Exchange
Rt Hon Frank Field MP | Member of Parliament for Birkinhead and former Minister for Welfare Reform
Chris Goulden | Policy & Research Manager | Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Fraser Nelson | Editor | The Spectator
Matthew Oakley | Head of Economics and Social Policy | Policy Exchange

towards a better child poverty target with rt hon frank field mp