Monday 10 September 2007

Report Looks To Tackle London's Child Poverty

Child poverty is worse in London compared to anywhere else in the country, as previously reported here. Mayor Ken Livingstone has welcomed the London Child Poverty Commission’s first consultation report which sets out what Commissioners believe are the key issues that must be tackled to reduce the high levels of child poverty in the capital.

The report seeks to build on the range of programmes and activities already instigated by the Mayor Livingstone to help families on low incomes with the high costs of living in London. Many of these are unique to London, including:
  • The establishment of a £33m Childcare Affordability Programme to help parents pay for childcare costs with £22 million funding from the London Development Agency and £11 million from the Department for Children Schools and Families
  • Introduction of the Living Wage to tackle low pay

  • Half price bus and tram fares introduced for a quarter of a million Londoners on Income Support

  • Free travel introduced for young people under 18 in full-time education on London buses and trams
  • A ten per cent reduction on single bus fares at any time of the day
  • A significant increase in the supply of affordable housing which will be unveiled in the Mayor’s draft Housing Strategy to be published later this month
  • Introduction of the London City Strategy Pilots designed to test new ways of delivering welfare services to individuals
  • Diversity Works Programme to tackle low employment particularly in minority ethnic groups.

Mayor Livingstone said “Many initiatives are well underway to cut the costs of travel, childcare and housing in London, designed to help alleviate the root causes of child poverty. But as today’s report shows local, regional and national government needs to look at every aspect of life in London that contributes to keeping the rates in London so much higher than the rest of the UK. I look forward to seeing the Commission’s final recommendations in the Spring but in the meantime will continue to explore every opportunity available to bring that rate down.”

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