Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, is calling on the government to make sure families with children have enough money and security of income to meet basic needs, such as healthy food to eat and warm homes. A third of children in the north of England are living in poverty, living with food and fuel insecurity.
Tony said, “In some parts of Rochdale, over half of all children are living in poverty with the bulk of those have parents in work. That is a scandal.
“The picture across the north of England is just as grim and this goes back to before the current cost of living crisis and the aftermath of Covid. New pressures have pushed vulnerable families to the edge and risks creating a disastrous situation likely to last for future generations.
“Sadly, poverty is not a new experience for many children in the north but there are things the government could do now to help, such as increasing child benefit by up to £20 a week and expand Free School Meals to all children whose families receive Universal Credit.
“The government must look at expanding and auto-enrolling the Healthy Start Scheme, ensuring consistent food provisions during school holidays and actions to improve the energy efficiency of homes.”
Tony joins 15 cross-party MPs in signing a Parliamentary motion calling for the government to act on recommendations made by the Child of the North APPG’s report on Child Poverty and the Cost of Living Crisis. The report warns that increasing child poverty and cost of living pressures has pushed vulnerable families in the north of England to the edge.
Families in the north are more likely to be living in poor quality, damp homes. More than 98,500 homes in the north already had some form of damp before the cost of living began to rise, and 1.1 million homes in the north failed ‘decent homes’ criteria. The report also found that one million households in the north were fuel poor before the current crisis, 15% of homes compared to 12% elsewhere.
Notes for editors:
1) The Child of the North APPG’s report on Child Poverty and the Cost of Living Crisis can be found here
2) The full text of the Parliamentary motion, and the full list of signatories, can be found here