I’m proud the last Labour government lifted a million children out of poverty. But, this week, shocking figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that the number of children in absolute poverty increased by 200,000 in 2017-18, to just over 4 million, while 70 per cent of children in poverty live in families where at least one adult is in work. It’s an absolute disgrace that so many children are growing up in poverty in one of the richest countries in the world.
I asked the Secretary of State about the government’s two child policy, which penalises larger families by limiting the level of financial support to two children per family. The policy means that families with three or more children will be penalised, even if they face unpredictable events, such as redundancy, illness or separation. Every child should have the very best start in life and it’s utterly immoral for the government to decide that some children deserve support and some don’t.
In her answer, the Secretary of State acknowledged that the recent statistics were (in her words) “disappointing” but refused to commit to changing the two-child policy. Labour will continue to fight for fairness for every child.