The child poverty figure was out this week, and it surprised many people by showing no overall rise. This wasn't the success the Conservatives tried to present it as; there is a target in place that commits the government to eradicating child poverty by 2020, the end of the current parliament, and this needs the figure to fall significantly every year with 2.3 million still below the breadline.
Now that the safety net of local welfare support has shrunk and we face many more ominous cuts, who knows what the current state of poverty looks like now or what these figures will be by 2020? All I can say for sure is so long as this constant level of need remains, we will continue to provide for those who need support most.
Most children in poverty in the UK are living in families that are in low-paid work. Today's figures show that, carrying on the steady rise over the last five years, this has now risen to 62%. Cuts to welfare will punish families that are already struggling to provide for their children and push them even deeper into poverty.
Some changes really are instant. And if four year olds, with no voting power at all, living under the poverty line can still find a way to give lentils to starving babies? If they can feel powerful, purely because it never occurs to them that they don't have the power to change the world and help others?
Or, any other rich, white guy with a trust fund or 6 figure income or a banker or a footballer or a Russian oligarch or CEO of a multi-national corporation or a hedge fund manager. It matters to the vast majority of families living in the UK (and not "families" as defined by the current obsession with "hard-working families" rhetoric used to punish anyone who is not rich)
Besides their enhanced chances of subjection to violence or of being embroiled in crime either as victims or perpetrators, teens sleeping today in our cities' parks, upon shop doorsteps or 'sofa surfing' between friends and acquaintances often live in real peril of various forms of abuse by adults or older minors who observe their movements over time only to then take advantage of their powerlessness.
The recession means that, whoever governs we are now in the grip of austerity politics and will be for some years to come. Because we faced that challenge our economy is now recovering. But this makes that other challenge, the task of lifting children out of poverty, much harder and much more difficult.