HC Deb 15 October 2001 vol 372 cc827-8W
31. Ms Munn

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress is being made with the Government's commitment to reduce child poverty by half. [3606]

Malcolm Wicks

Details of the progress we are making in tackling child poverty can be found in our third annual report on poverty and social exclusion, Opportunity for All—making progress (CM 5260), published on 19 September.

This year's report demonstrates that we have continued to make real improvements, improving the lives, prospects, and opportunities of children and young people. Over the past four years, we have taken action to raise the incomes of families, especially for those on the lowest incomes. To help children out of poverty, we have provided more support than ever before to enable parents to work, and ensure that they are better off in work.

We have introduced a range of tax and benefit reforms to give help at the time when families need it most, whether they are in work or not. The additional resources we are delivering for education and health are helping to reduce the chances of poverty and social exclusion in the longer term. We have also introduced substantial improvements in the system for children and teenagers who are vulnerable, such as children in care, and teenage parents.

Over the next few years we will continue to step up our efforts, including the implementation of major reforms to the child support system, and the introduction of an integrated child credit.