Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Positive Campaigning - Help End Child Poverty

Most people remember various campaigns designed to shock people and emphasise how awful some of the problems in Britain and the world today are. While these campaigns can help to grab attention, they always run the risk that people will think that a problem is so severe and impossible to solve that there is no real point in doing anything about it, and the only suggestion for ways of helping is by donating money.

Here's a different kind of campaign.

Yesterday saw the launch of a month of action about child poverty. Today more than 3 million children are growing up in poverty, in one of the richest countries in the world. We know that this is not inevitable, because the number has been falling since 1997, because of action by the Labour Party.

Next year, the government will set spending priorities for the next few years. If they choose to spend an extra £4 billion, less than 1% of public spending, on extra help for families and people on low incomes, then every year thousands more children and their families will be lifted out of poverty, and we will get back on target to end child poverty by 2020.

This may be the first and last time for a generation that we have the chance to end child poverty. It isn't inevitable that the government will find the money. They could instead put it towards abolishing inheritance tax, as the Tories have suggested, or towards any of the other priorities which would do more for people who are already well-off. One thing that you can be sure of is that the better off will be doing all they can to make sure that the government spends money in accordance with their priorities - their success in doing this is one of the reasons why they are rich and millions of people live in poverty.

Children in poverty and their families need all the allies they can get. If you want to be part of this, then contact your MP, get your council to pass a resolution, talk to your neighbours and friends, and do anything else you can think of to help make sure that reducing and ending child poverty is the government's top priority. The more people that care about this and get involved, the more likely our government is to end child poverty.

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