New analysis published by the End Child Poverty Coalition showed a sharp rise in child poverty in Britain in the last 5 years, with more than 400,000 more children living in poverty after housing costs than in 2015.
Child poverty was rising sharply even before the Covid-19 pandemic, which is feared to have exacerbated the situation even further.
Child poverty is also rising locally and there are now as many as 4,692 children in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney living in poverty, an increase of 54 from five years ago. A staggering 32% of all children in the constituency are living below the poverty line, after housing costs.
Researchers combined data on child poverty published by the Department for Work and Pensions in May with information about local housing costs to build a detailed picture of child poverty across the country.
In a reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet, Labour Leader Keir Starmer appointed Wes Streeting MP as Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty, creating a post dedicated to addressing the rise in child poverty as part of Labour’s top team.
Gerald has also signed the new “No Child Left Behind” pledge launched today by the National Education Union which says:
“As a Member of Parliament, I pledge to do everything in my power so that no child is left behind in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney.
I call for the development of a cross-Government strategy to eradicate the poverty faced by the 4.3 million children currently growing up trapped in poverty.
I will use my vote and voice in Parliament to try to stop an expected 730,000 more children being plunged into poverty by 2024.
We must value and invest in all our children, so they are supported to learn, succeed, and go on to have bright futures.”
Commenting, Gerald said:
“These figures are shocking and heart breaking. This Government has presided over a staggering increase in child poverty, and ministers should hang their heads in shame.
Boris Johnson talks a good game about levelling up the country, but this Government’s shameful record is one of rising poverty, soaring food bank use and a widening attainment gap.
I will keep standing up for children in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymmney and campaign for a UK Labour Government in Westminster that will make tackling child poverty a top priority, and work to ensure that Britain is the best possible place to grow up in for all children.
That is why I am proud to sign the National Education Union’s pledge committing to do everything in my power to ensure no child is left behind.”