The Tory government is “failing a whole generation of children” through rising homelessness and poverty, says Jeremy Corbyn MP.
His comments come on the back of a damning report from the Children’s Commissioner for England, which warns that thousands of vulnerable children are growing up in converted shipping containers and office blocks.
Child homeless has soared by a shocking 80% since 2010, with official figures showing that 30% of children (over 4.1 million) across England are living below the poverty line.
During a visit in Wales to mark the release of GCSE exam results, the Labour leader pledged that “the next Labour government will take radical action to unlock the potential of every child”.
Mr Corbyn promised that the next Labour government would commit to:
- Providing free school meals for all primary school children to end the stigma and ensure no child goes hungry at school;
- Building a million genuinely affordable homes, including the biggest council housing programme in a generation;
- Rolling out 30 hours of free childcare a week for all 2-4 year olds to give all our children the best possible start in life;
- Halting the closures of Sure Start centres and increase the amount of money available for Sure Start;
- Investing in our schools and reducing class sizes to less than 30 for all five, six and seven year-olds so children get the attention they deserve;
- Ending the public sector pay cap and introducing a Real Living Wage of at least £10 an hour to boost household income, as a record 2.9 million children from working families in the UK live in poverty;
- Ending the benefit freeze and stopping the rollout of Universal Credit which is pushing families into poverty;
- Replacing social mobility with social justice as a measure of government policy and a stated aim of government policies.
Mr Corbyn said: “Working class children are still being held back while their wealthy peers get ahead.
“The next Labour government will take radical action to unlock the potential of every child, not just a lucky few.
“The Tories are failing a whole generation of children.
“A child growing up in a shipping container or a B&B, or going to school hungry, cannot be expected to reach their full potential.
“The measure of our society is how we treat our most vulnerable. And who could be more vulnerable than a homeless child?
“We have a moral responsibility to end the scandal of child poverty and homelessness.”