Viewpoint:Save the Children launches its first poverty campaign in the UK

Dr Stephanie Petrie

Dr Stephanie Petrie, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Law and Social Justice

“The report from Save the Children reveals most vividly how poverty is currently experienced by children in the UK. Poverty is a relative term and in affluent countries such as our own is understood to be when income or resources are insufficient to maintain an acceptable daily life in the society in which we live.

Save the Children point out that relative poverty here and now means that many low-waged parents cannot provide three nutritionally adequate meals a day for their children. Of course absolute poverty, starvation in other words, faces many children in the world today and the impact of the recession in developed countries also increases misery in the developing world.

It is not only the consequences of poverty on children in the UK today that are damaging but the impacts throughout their lives and the long-term costs for all of us.

There is substantial comparative research from many affluent countries that reveals the sharp and increasing gap between the rich and poor.

This rising inequality correlates with increases in physical and mental ill-health; suicide; homicide and violent and acquisitive crime. We are told we cannot afford the levels of health, education and welfare services available to all our citizens in the past – can we really afford the long-terms costs we are generating for the future?”

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