Opinion: We need to tackle rise in child poverty
PUBLISHED: 08:30 08 June 2019
Almost every week, terrible stories fill the media about UK children affected by poverty, despite being the fifth richest country in the world.
Over half Newham's children live in poverty. Nationally, half a million more children were pushed into poverty since the Conservatives took power in 2010.
The government keep bleating that the best way out of poverty is for parents to work. Of children living in poverty, 70 per cent have at least one parent in work.
Getting into work clearly isn't enough.
Unremitting, reckless and heartless social security cuts take away money families need to make ends meet. Many jobs don't pay enough to cover the ever-rising cost of living.
Even working families can't afford to put food on the table. I am profoundly grateful to the Newham Foodbanks for helping out, but they're struggling because more and more families need their help.
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Kevin Jenkins rightly called for a Newham Child Poverty Summit in the Recorder two weeks ago. I fully support Kevin's campaign.
Much can be done together, as a community, to change things for the better. Newham has amazing charitable organisations helping struggling communities: our foodbanks; the Magpie Project; AAA; our churches; mosques; gurdwaras; temples and synagogues, to name but a few.
The Tories are totally consumed by their civil war and the disaster of Brexit.
We can be sure the next Tory leader, sadly our prime minister, won't act to end child poverty.
We cannot create meaningful progress towards ending child poverty without a change of government in Westminster.
We need a government that will truly invest in our children, truly commit to ending child poverty and give all children fair chances in life.
The Tory party seeks to change the face at the top, to persuade the public they've changed and can govern. It's clear that years of austerity cuts and widening divisions in society mean we really need a general election and a Labour government.