MPs and Peers raised the issue. But you made the difference.

Posted by Chloe Hardy / Wednesday 02 March 2016 / Cost of living
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When the Government said that money would no longer be considered as part of tackling child poverty, it raised more than an a few eyebrows. The Welfare Reform and Work Bill, as originally published, proposed removing income from the way child poverty is measured.

We can all get behind doing more to help the poorest children succeed in life, but overlooking money and the impact of going without basic day-to-day essentials will not get us anywhere. As the evidence shows, money matters.

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As part of the End Child Poverty Coalition, we promoted the Money Matters campaign. And you – our supporters – got stuck in. You tweeted, you wrote to your MPs, you emailed members of the House of Lords and shouted your support from the rooftops.

It was a challenge to get through to MPs when they first debated removing income as a measure of poverty. The proposal made it through every debate intact.

So it was to the House of Lords and one important afternoon that swung the debate. A wave of emails from supporters led to a series of stirring speeches from Peers. It might have been Bishops and Baronesses who raised the issue, but only because you got in touch to show them it mattered. And it worked. Peers voted 290 to 198 to put income back in as a measure.

But the job wasn’t finished just yet.

With the Bill going back to the House of Commons it needed one last push to get MPs and Government Ministers onside. And that is where our supporters made the difference. Again.

You told MPs that this had to stay and couldn’t just be overturned. You told them that money has to be part of tackling child poverty. They listened. The Welfare Reform Minister introduced a duty on government to publish annual statistics on income and child poverty. By changing Ministers’ minds you showed yet again just how influential your voices are.

With one great win in the bag, onto the next one.

The Government will soon be publishing a ‘life chances’ strategy outlining how they will improve children’s prospects across the UK. Having the measures in place now means we will be able to see whether the number of children living in low income households is coming down.

We know children’s prospects are shaped from birth. To change the future, we need to give every child the best start in life. This means tackling disadvantage and inequality in the early years. Giving parents the support they need to help their children develop to the best of their abilities. 

There is more to do. But with supporters like you, who have already changed the Government’s mind on poverty, anything is possible!

Join the conversation.

Find out how you can become a campaigner, stay up to date with our latest tweets and join in the discussion on our blog.