Save the Children has launched its first ever poverty campaign in Britain. The charity, which previously focused on Africa, Asia and South America, claims British children are going hungry as a result of government austerity polices.
Save the Children claim that British children are going hungry and that many parents are unable to provide hot meals and warm clothes. The Daily Telegraph reports the charity as claiming that poverty is "tearing families apart".
The charity launched its campaign with the slogan: It shouldn't happen here. According to the Guardian, the charity asserts:
It is shocking to think that in the UK in 2012, families are being forced to miss out on essentials like food or take on crippling debts just to meet everyday living costs.
Justin Forsyth, Save the Children’s chief executive, justified the launch of the unprecedented national campaign, saying:
No child should see their parent going hungry or start the new term without a warm coat and with holes in their shoes. Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money.
That’s why for the first time in our history we are launching a UK appeal. We need to help poor families survive the recession.
As the Yorkshire Post points out, in Yorkshire a third of children are living in poverty.
Some Conservative politicians have, however, criticised the campaign, suggesting that it is politically motivated. Philip Davies, a former general manager of Asda, part of Walmart, and the Conservative MP for Shipley, said:
It is just a publicity seeking campaign. I think people will see through the fact that this is an organisation that has been campaigning for as much money as possible to be sent abroad for many years so it’s no good now telling us there’s no money left to go round to British children.
Save the Children launch an unprecedented campaign in the UK.
Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, asserted the main cause of child poverty was the provision of state benefits that created dependency.
Chris Wellings, Save the Children's UK head of policy, defended the launching of a poverty campaign in the sixth richest country in the world, saying:
Poverty in the UK is different to some of the poorer countries in the world. It is more nuanced and poses different problems. But it does not mean that we cannot stand up for children's rights in the UK.
Michael Dugher, the Labour MP for Barnsley East, squarely blamed the government for increasing child poverty. He said:
George Osborne’s last Budget cut taxes for millionaires, but found nothing new to fight child poverty.
A spokesperson for the government responded to the campaign, affirming its commitment to eradicating child poverty, adding:
...but we want to take a new approach by tackling the root causes including worklessness, educational failure and family breakdown.