The British Medical Association have roundly condemned the coalition’s austerity policies as detrimental to children’s lives. Their new report, Growing Up in the UK, examines how changes to the welfare system are already impacting on the most vulnerable in society.
They cite the closure of Sure Start centres, regressive tax policies and cuts to child benefit as evidence that the UK Government’s policy are anything but “family friendly”. Given what is known about how poverty impacts on the life chances of young people, which is described as “alarming”, the authors call for more to be done to tackle the disadvantage which lies at the root of “almost all” of the health problems that the UK’s children suffer from. The authors point out that more children are dying in the UK than in other countries in Northern and Western Europe and that cases of neglect are increasing, warning that improvements made in recent years are going into reverse.
The report makes a number of recommendations including early intervention, practical help for families, the alleviation of poverty and education.
Read the report