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Bromford Group voices concerns over UK child poverty

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Bromford Group has voiced its concerns over reports from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) that child poverty in the UK is likely to exceed three million by 2013.

Bromford, a leading UK housing association, have responded to the IFS statistic that by 2013 one in four children in the UK could be living in poverty - the current Government target is one in ten. This would see a reversal of the trend in recent years that has seen a reduction in poverty amongst UK children and Bromford are concerned that such positive strides should not be undone.

Bromford's executive director, Phillipa Jones explains: "The IFS have raised a valid concern. We invest in the communities we work in to build people's skills and capacity in line with the government's agenda that the route out of poverty should be work pay. This is the most effective way to reduce the number of children living in poverty.

"Every effort should be made to ensure that the implementation of any fiscal policy does not undo the advancements that have been made. Were we to see the projected figures of the IFS realised the UK would witness the highest rate of absolute child poverty since 2001 and the of relative child poverty since 1999."
Bromford Support provides additional support to families helping them achieve their personal goals. In the last year over nine thousand people were supported in this way with a strong emphasis on reducing dependency and maximizing opportunities for training and work.

Wendy Stephens, Head of Bromford Support, echoed the concern: "The overwhelming majority of people we work with are in receipt of benefit and therefore already living on a very low income. The potential worsening of that situation would be catastrophic to the lives of many children and set up a cycle of deprivation that becomes hard to break.

"Last year nearly seventy percent of the people we supported were in difficulty with accrued debt and over fifty percent required assistance just to secure settled accommodation for them and their children.
"Every day, support workers witness the reality of the low incomes our customers receive and the effects of child poverty with a need to access food parcels and grants etc. just to get by. Any threat of an increase in child poverty must be urgently addressed by government."