Catherine McKinnell MP has today condemned the Conservative Government for its failure to protect children across Newcastle North and called for them to implement a new child poverty strategy for England.
Catherine’s call comes after the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, revealed that child poverty is predicted to rise sharply unless the Government commits to a bold, broad response to tackle it.
Figures for Newcastle North paint a bleak picture with both relative and absolute child poverty rising above the national average in the most recent statistics.
“The pandemic has revealed the underlying weaknesses in the country, which have been compounded by 10 years of failed Conservative policies. Instead of harnessing the power of government to tackle the blight of child poverty, the Government has just hoped the problem would go away.
“The last Labour Government achieved so much on child poverty with the introduction of the Child Poverty Act. We knew then, as we know now, that if we are to help people achieve their dreams and ambitions, they must have access to decent schools, excellent healthcare, and fantastic jobs in every part of the country.
“When the Children’s Commissioner for England speaks, we should listen. The warning that child poverty will continue to rise during this Parliament is sobering. If we are to stop the blight of poverty the Government must implement a far-reaching child poverty reduction plan today.”
Catherine this week interviewed footballer and anti-poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford MBE on his child food poverty petition in her capacity as Chair of Parliament’s Petitions Committee (https://twitter.com/HoCpetitions/status/1351862036943265792)
The Committee today on hearing expert evidence on Mr Rashford’s petition to help understand the scale of the problem and what actions are needed to address it. The petition has reached over 1.1 million signatures (https://twitter.com/HoCpetitions/status/1351867068535234562)
Constituency level data on child poverty can be found here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/constituency-data-child-poverty/
More information from the Children’s Commissioner’s announcement can be found here: https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/2021/01/21/politicians-must-take-child-poverty-out-of-the-too-difficult-box-and-come-up-with-a-big-bold-plan-to-fix-it/