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Child Poverty

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

Over the past decade, child poverty in the United Kingdom has fallen faster than in any other major economy, but we have to go further to achieve our target, which is why we published our refreshed child poverty strategy on 27 March.

Hundreds of thousands of children are still living in poverty, by the Government’s definition. If the Minister accepts that housing is a crucial part of removing children from poverty, will he prevail on the new Prime Minister to reverse 25 years of housing policy failure and restore council house building?

Of course, we have invested more than ever before in housing, as a Labour Government, certainly overcoming the record and our inheritance from the previous Government. But the fact is that, in terms of the responsibility of the Department for Work and Pensions, the biggest significant input that we can have is to encourage ever more people to get the chance to get into work—work that pays, and work that is sustained. Of course, we have further to go, but it is important to reflect that, each working day that we have had a Labour Government over the past decade, 190 children have been lifted out of poverty, which is in stark contrast to the fact that, in the previous 18 years, 240 kids went into poverty every day.