There are 4 million children in the UK in poverty. This is shameful in the sixth richest country in the world. Yet, in 2015, the Tories scrapped Labour’s child poverty targets.
This week Labour introduced a bill to parliament to bring targets back and an action plan to end child poverty once and for all. The proposals, announced nationally by Dan Jarvis MP, have Portsmouth Labour’s full support.
Children in poor households tend to perform less well at school, impacting on future education, training and employment opportunities.
There is also a strong link between health inequalities and poverty.
To tackle poverty, what happens in childhood is critical. Poverty is the strongest determinant of poor outcomes for children when they reach adult life.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth’s Labour Leader said:
“In order to give children the best start in life their development in the first five years of life is crucial.
Children who grow up in poverty are four times as likely to become poor adults, becoming the parents of the next generation of children living in poverty”.
Poverty is the single greatest threat to the wellbeing of children and families. Any family can fall on hard times and find it difficult to make ends meet. But poverty isn’t inevitable. With the right policies every child can have the opportunity to do well in life, and we all share the rewards of having a stronger economy and a healthier, fairer society.
In the past few years, child poverty has increased in Portsmouth. Research shows that 22.3% of all children aged 0-19 are deemed as living in poverty in our city.
This rises sharply in some parts of the city, demonstrating real pockets of deprivation. In Charles Dickens ward over 44% of all children aged 0-19 live in poverty.
As a Charles Dickens ward member, Cllr Morgan added:
“Where you are born shouldn’t determine where you end up in life. Yet too many people are being held back and left behind. That’s why tackling child poverty is so important. Every single child in our city deserves the best chance in life.
Across Portsmouth, people dedicate their lives to transform the lives of others. I hugely value these services, will always support and try to protect them.
I entered public service to help make sure every single child in every single community in our great city has the opportunity to succeed.
I fully support Labour’s national campaign to finally end child poverty. I hope you will show your support too”.
To show your support to end child poverty and to sign the online petition visit: www.nochildpoverty.org.uk