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Opinion: Reforms needed to tackle child poverty

PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 May 2019

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas wants an end to child poverty. Picture: ANDREW ACHILLEOS

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas wants an end to child poverty. Picture: ANDREW ACHILLEOS

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The UK's leading child poverty coalition is calling for government to outline an ambitious child poverty-reduction strategy as new data shows child poverty is becoming the norm in some parts of Britain.

Data shows 43 per cent of 29,192 children in the borough are living in poverty. That's 12,552 local children in households that struggle to make ends meet; often going without the essentials.

In 2019, in one of the richest countries in the world these statistics are just unacceptable.

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Nine years of Tory austerity has created deep social and economic divides across our country, and these statistics are a damning indictment of an out of touch government implementing out of touch policies that hit working people hardest.

Yet more evidence that a vote for the Tories is a vote for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. Barking and Dagenham is one of the most deprived boroughs in London and my constituents have been disproportionately affected over the years, not least by the roll out of Universal Credit. End Child Poverty is calling for government to stop the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credit, and the organisation are calling for urgent reforms to Universal Credit.

Despite government promises to reduce waiting times, many of my constituents are still waiting up to 12 weeks for support. It is no coincidence that since the roll out of Universal Credit food bank usage has gone up a record 18.8pc nationally in a year.

I have written to the secretary of state for work and pensions demanding action.

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