Tory Work and Pensions minister says poverty's root cause is 'not financial'

Government launches £30m scheme to help parents find work

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The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has claimed the root cause of poverty is "not financial" as the Government launched a £30m scheme to help parents find work.

In the foreword to a paper about the programme, Damian Green wrote: “We recognise the need to understand the complex issues that some families face and to develop a new approach to tackling poverty and engrained disadvantage.

“Because the root causes are not financial, our approach goes beyond the safety net our welfare system provides.”

The next phase of the Troubled Families Programme aims to forge better links between disadvantaged families and Jobcentres.

Damian Green on employment

Ministers said there was a "profound" affect on children if their parents were unemployed and had other problems.

The Government analysis showed children in workless families were almost twice as likely not to reach the expected levels at all stages of their education.

Three-quarters of children from families where no one worked failed to reach the expected level at GCSE, compared with about half of children in lower-income working families.

An estimated 300,000 workless families are potentially affected by conflict between parents, while children's emotional, behavioural and educational success are strongly influenced by their parents' relationship.

Launching the programme, Mr Green said: "I don't want any child to be defined by the circumstances of their birth. Every child should benefit from a strong relationship between their parents — whether they are together or separated.

"Today marks the start of new support to help families overcome the problems they face to make sure that every child can go as far as their talents will take them."

The government said it would aim to reduce parental conflict through an "innovative" new programme to support interventions delivered by specialist organisations.