By Vittorio Hernandez

London, England, United Kingdom

The falling standard of living, coupled with the economic slowdown and government reduction of tax breaks and social benefits, will lead to 3 million children in the United Kingdom living in poverty by 2013, the Institute for Fiscal Studies forecast.

The study, released on Monday, blames two years of continuous decline of incomes for adding an estimated 600,000 more children into a state of poverty. It is the biggest drop in living standards for middle-income British families since the 1970s after median incomes declined 7 percent, inclusive of inflation.

The relative poverty threshold in Britain is based on people having a household income below 60 percent of the median national income, while those with income in 2009-10 below 60 percent of the 2010-11 median are considered in a state of absolute poverty.

Based on those criteria, 17 percent of British children were considered in absolute poverty in 2009-10, which is expected to rise further to 21.8 percent.

In 2013, there would also be 2.5 million working-age parents and 4 million working-age adults without children in absolute poverty despite the introduction by the coalition government of the Universal Credit scheme, the report said.

IFS Director Paul Johnson criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron for the gap between government promises and reality. He pointed out that Cameron often states in his speeches that battling relative poverty is a central policy goal of the Tory-led government, but the difference between talk and poverty continues to widen.

He doubted if government could reach its child-poverty reduction goals in the next nine years despite it making available substantial resources to reduce poverty in Britain.


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World - Study Estimates 3 Million British Children in Poverty by 2013 | Global Viewpoint