The essay will begin by illustrating why child poverty is an issue that needs to be addressed by the government. An analysis on the current state of the issue in the U.K will then be done in respect to the extent to which the government efforts have been successful. The gaps existing in the policy development will also be given. The evaluation will be guided by information sourced from various written policy documents and statements from key politicians regarding child poverty (Davies 2008).
Child poverty can be defined as a situation where a household lacks adequate resources to live above a generally agreed lifestyle. The British government approached child poverty from four aspects which are enshrined under the 2010 Child Poverty Act (Preston 2008). Under the Act, child poverty is defined from four perspectives, namely: relative low income poverty, absolute low income poverty, persistent low income poverty and finally material deprivation. Under the relative low income poverty, a child is deemed poor if their family’s income is below 60% of the median income. Absolute low income poverty arises where a child’s family constaly holds an income of less than 60% of the median income for one fiscal year. The Act identifies persistent low income poverty as one where a child’s household lives on an income of less than 60% of the median household income for a period exceeding 3 years. Material deprivation is identified as a situation where a child’s household lives on an income below 70% of the median household income and undergoes suffering due to the challenge of inadequate income to spend on essential needs. The UK government uses relative low income poverty to define child poverty in the country. (Joslyn et al. 2005, p.191), notes that a government’s definition of poverty greatly determines the number of individuals that are regarded to as