Dan Jarvis MP says he entered politics to help “make sure every child gets the best start in life”, but warns the struggle against reducing child poverty is going backwards with experts predicting a 50% rise by 2020.
Mr Jarvis is planning a new ‘Child Poverty Bill’, with the aim of persuading the UK Government to introduce new targets to end child poverty and bring forward a plan to achieve it.
The Labour MP says the UK has a “duty to do right by every child and make sure nobody from the next generation is left behind”.
His new campaign hopes to improve the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and warns “it would be an historic mistake” for the Tory Government to ignore the plight of vulnerable children growing up in poverty.
“Child poverty should scar our conscience as much as our children’s futures”, he says.
Mr Jarvis says those who are ‘just managing’ and those who are struggling to make ends meet “need change, not warm words”, and is urging everyone to play their part in ensuring all children get the best start in life.
Commenting ahead of a second reading in parliament of Dan Jarvis’ Bill, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: “Child poverty in the UK is starting to rise for the first time in almost a decade. And IFS projections suggest the rise will be sustained – such that 50% more kids will be under the poverty line by 2020.
“Yet we’re operating without binding targets to bring child poverty down because the Child Poverty Act was effectively repealed last year. By contrast, Scotland is in the process of introducing its own child poverty legislation including targets for the elimination of child poverty.
“Poverty is damaging children and their life chances and it’s on the rise. But without statutory poverty-reduction targets we’re limping along in our efforts to stop it.
“This Bill says we can do better. It says all Governments can and should be accountable on child poverty.
“They can and must report on what progress they make on child poverty. To do less – to throw away the opportunity to adopt targets that drive action – is to risk failing the next generation.”
Published: 3 February 2017. Updated: 02:00 on 4 February 2017. Video Credit: Dan Jarvis MP/YouTube