Child Poverty – Last week’s column

I am a firm believer that no child in Britain should grow up in poverty. As one of the world’s leading western civilisations, it should not be the case that the home a child is born into can have such a lasting effect on their lives.

Those who grow up in poverty are more likely to fall behind in school, less likely to secure a stable job in the future and more likely to suffer from ill health in later life.

Before Christmas, my Westminster colleague, Dan Jarvis MP, tabled a Private Member’s Bill that aims to reinstate a target to reduce child poverty in the UK. It’s due to have its second reading next month and I hope that there will be a cross party consensus in favour of the bill as it would go some way to addressing the issue of child poverty.

Without a target, a clear strategy or a clear focus on making progress then efforts to eradicate child poverty will prove to be futile.

I was saddened to learn that 22% of children here in Alyn and Deeside grow up in poverty. That’s 3,894 children and the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts that numbers will increase by 50% due to Tory Government policies.

It’s disheartening to see the good work that the last Labour Government did – by lifting 1 million children out of poverty – become undone by the Tories.

Investment in the youth of society should be a priority for any Government and preventing, reducing and eradicating child poverty should be a central task. As it stands there are 4 million children across the UK who are being let down by the system and something needs to be done about it.

As elected representatives it is our duty to ensure that the young people we represent have the brightest possible future and that is why I believe reinstating a target to reduce child poverty is so important.