Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society, said: “It is extremely worrying that nearly a third of children – around 4.5m – are living in poverty according to this proposed new measure.
“This important report rightly suggests that inescapable costs like childcare, housing and support for children with a disability should be taken into account when measuring poverty.
“When these are considered children sadly make up a greater proportion of those in poverty than previously recognised and they can contribute to situations in which families are left struggling to make ends meet and facing impossible choices between essentials like eating and heating.
“But crucially, the report also reinforces the importance of continuing to understand and act upon poverty as a measure of low family income relative to the national average.
“While we would welcome these changes to how poverty is measured being included in official statistics, concrete action is needed to tackle the shameful scale of poverty among our children, with all the damage it can do to their well-being, education and life chances.
“Government cuts in financial support – including the continued freeze on benefits and tax credits for families – risk substantially increasing child poverty rates in the coming years.
“If we are serious about addressing child poverty – under any meaningful measure – this needs to change.”
For more information on the Social Metrics Commission proposals see socialmetricscommission.org.uk/social-metrics-commission-launches…