During the opening exchanges of the House of Commons debate on the Queen’s Speech, local MP Rushanara Ali warned the Prime Minister that he was failing to take any action to tackle the alarming increase in child poverty under his Government.
Rushanara said: “According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, after the tax and benefit changes introduced in 2010, by 2020 one in four children will face child poverty, missing the Child Poverty Act goal of one in 10. Why does the Queen’s Speech not contain anything to address that major problem in our country?”
The latest Institute for Fiscal Studies research found that relative child poverty in the UK is projected to increase by 6% between 2010–11 and 2020–21, reversing all of the reductions achieved during the previous decade. In 2020–21, child poverty is projected to be 23.5%, compared to the official target of 10%. This translates to increases across the decade of 1.1 million in the number of children in relative poverty.
The Queen’s Speech, which was delivered to Parliament on Wednesday 8th May and set out the Government’s legislative agenda for the coming year, did not mention the Government’s responsibility to adhere to the Child Poverty Act passed by the previous Labour Government in 2010.
Following the speech, Rushanara said: “With nearly half of children in my constituency growing up in poverty, I am deeply disappointed that the Queen’s Speech contains nothing to address the major problem of child poverty. The IFS has found that the Tory-led Government’s tax and benefit policies are pushing one million more children into poverty and it is undoing all of the significant progress made by the previous Labour Government in lifting children out of poverty.”