I am backing a Private Member’s Bill which would reinstate a target to reduce child poverty in the UK.
The target to reduce child poverty was scrapped by the Conservative Government in 2016, along with the UK Government’s duty to produce child poverty strategies and report on them annually. The target aimed to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
In my constituency, 34% of children grow up in poverty, which equates to 9,488 children.
Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (2014-15) show that there are 22,059 children in poverty across all three of the Bolton constituencies, and 3.9 million children live in poverty nationally.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has predicted that child poverty will increase by 50 per cent by 2020.
I support the ‘Child Poverty in the UK (Target for Reduction) Bill 2016-17’, which seeks to reintroduce the child poverty reduction target.
I believe that every child should be free to grow up and enjoy their childhood.
It is unacceptable that, in one of the richest countries in the world, there are still children who go to bed hungry or cold. However, this is the reality for many children in Bolton and across the country.
The Government should not turn a blind eye to the suffering of children in poverty, and should instead reinstate the target and work towards eradicating child poverty in the UK.
If the Government had stuck to the target set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010, then we could be on our way to eradicating child poverty by 2020, but now the Institute for Fiscal Studies is predicting that child poverty will increase by 50 per cent by 2020.
This Private Member’s Bill will have its second reading on 3 February and has been introduced by Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central.