[2020] Motion 16 Child poverty

Composited motion

Received from:

Merged into composite 04

Congress condemns the rapid increase in child poverty across a decade of austerity. Research shows 33 per cent of all children in the UK live in poverty.

The pandemic has shone a light on the poverty gap in terms of employment, pay, housing and access to services, including the ‘digital divide’.

Low pay and insecure employment have condemned 10 children in every class of 30 to “being locked into a cycle of poverty from which most will have great difficulty escaping” (Prof. Alston, UN Special Rapporteur).

Congress notes Black children are two to three times more likely to be trapped in persistent poverty than children in White families and believes racism and class stereotypes stigmatise and undermine working-class children.

Coronavirus is a natural phenomenon – how we react to it isn’t. Failing to eradicate child poverty is the result of political failure.

Congress instructs the TUC to:

i. work with the Child Poverty Action Group to campaign for government to

  • restore money lost through freezing benefits, tax credits and subsequent rises in line with inflation
  • end the tax credit two-child limit
  • abolish the £20,000 pa benefit cap
  • overhaul the benefits system, removing unnecessary obstacles and administrative delay
  • address the causes of structural racism that lead to disproportionate poverty in Black communities.

ii. incorporate measures to end child poverty within TUC campaigns for a green economy and jobs-led recovery after coronavirus

iii. build on increased community action to empower communities to be at the centre of campaigns to end child poverty.

National Education Union


  • Insert new paragraph 5:
    “Low levels of statutory maternity, adoption and paternity pay increase the risk of child poverty. Poverty damages every aspect of a child’s life, adversely affecting their ability to enjoy their childhoods and achieve their aspirations.”
  • Add new sub-paragraph iv. at end:
    “iv. campaign for improvements to statutory parental leave rights including a significant increase in statutory payments.”

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers


  • Add new sub-paragraph iv. at end:
    “iv. lobby the government to end the digital divide, starting with the introduction of a publicly funded right for free computer equipment and free access to broadband at home for all children living in poverty in the UK.”

Communication Workers Union