18/05/2017 13:38 BST | Updated 18/05/2017 16:54 BST

Conservative Manifesto Prompts Outcry Over Child Poverty Pledge Watering Down


The Conservatives have faced a barrage of criticism over what appeared to be a dumbing down of promises on tackling child poverty.

The party’s 2017 manifesto said they “want to eliminate child poverty”.

But this was contrasted by many with their declaration in 2015, when they said they would “work to eliminate child poverty”.

Many reacted angrily to the contrast...

According to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), one in four children in the UK live in poverty.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of CPAG, told HuffPost: “Four million of our children are living below the official poverty line – a level we haven’t seen in any sustained way since the late Nineties and the IFS projects the number will pass 5 million by 2020. That demands a muscular response.

“Nothing about child poverty is inevitable.  No child in the UK need have too little. 

“But if we’re to stop the upward trend in child poverty we’ll need  a robust and focused effort. Reinstating the UK’s poverty-reduction targets would be the obvious first step. 

“What mustn’t happen is any government giving up on child poverty as it is rising.”

Kelvin Murray via Getty Images
One in four children in the UK live in poverty

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World At One, defence secretary Michael Fallon said that the wording of the pledges in their manifesto had been adjusted to ensure it was “realistic”.

He said: “We set out here realistic goals for what we want to achieve over the five years of this parliament and I think it’s very important that we make promises and pledges that we can keep.

“We’ve looking at the wording of each of these individual pledges to be sure that we can keep them and you’ll see that some of the original pledges from our manifesto in 2015 and you’ll see some fresh language adjusted to take account of the situation today.”