Report cites more child poverty in Britain

June 10, 2008 at 9:53 AM
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LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- Britain says child poverty in the nation has risen for the second consecutive year, making unlikely its hoped-for halving of the figure by 2010.

The government's Department of Work and Pensions said Tuesday that the number of children living in households below the poverty line rose 100,000 in 2007, The Times of London reported. That comes on the heels of a similar 100,000-child increase in 2006.

The newspaper said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair set the goal of halving the child poverty by 2010 in 1999. Now, the continuing increase in the number of British children living in poverty is prompting children's advocates to call for more funding aimed at reducing such poverty.

The Times said there are about 3.9 million British children living in "relative poverty."

"This reflects both the size of the challenge but also that the government needs to make further financial commitments to achieve its goal," Hilary Fisher, the director of the End Child Poverty campaign, told The Times. "Without ($6 billion) of investment in tax credits and benefit, the 2010 target to end child poverty will not be met."

The government also revealed there are more elderly pensioners living in poverty, with their numbers increasing by 200,000 in 2007, the newspaper said.

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