‘A leading children’s rights group has called for a doubling of the federal minimum wage and wider access to housing subsidies to end the “moral travesty” of millions of children living in poverty while the wealthiest Americans get tax cuts.
The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) said in a new report that about 13 million American children are living in homes with incomes below the poverty line, depriving many of a decent education and proper nutrition, and putting them at risk of homelessness and violence. Two-thirds of those living in poverty are children of colour.
“No child should have to worry where her next meal will come from or whether she will have a place to sleep each night in the wealthiest nation on Earth. Yet more than 12.8 million children in America – about one in five – live in poverty and face these harsh realities every day,” said the report, Ending Child Poverty Now.
The CDF said poverty stacks the odds against children for life, affecting their development and opportunities. About one in three live in families where at least one adult is in a full-time but often poorly paid job.
The organisation calls for sweeping action by Washington. It said that a combination of more than doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour within five years, increased tax credits and widening childcare subsidies would cut child poverty by more than half. Increasing access to housing subsidies to low-income families on less than 150% of the poverty level of $25,100 a year for a family of four, would alone lift 2 million children out of poverty.’