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Support for Families Living in Poverty

Volume 695: debated on Monday 17 May 2021

This Government have been clear that supporting people back into work and empowering them to progress in their role is the best approach to tackling poverty. Evidence shows that households where all the adults work are six times less likely to be in absolute poverty than households where nobody works. To help to fulfil our commitment to get people back into work, we are investing over £30 billion through—you guessed it, Mr Speaker—our ambitious plan for jobs, which is already delivering for people right across our country.

Are this Government determined to be known as the most heartless Government since the end of the last world war? If these Ministers look at this morning’s report from Save the Children, they will see that 4 million children in our country are in poverty, going to bed at night with no food in their tummy. What are the Government going to do about that? It is a disgraceful state of affairs, and it is particularly hitting the north of England and people in the towns of West Yorkshire. Is it not about time we secured good, well-paid jobs and affordable childcare for these people, and tackled the problem, which has got worse and worse since 2010?

I am disappointed in that question, and I certainly do not recognise the picture painted by the hon. Gentleman. This Government have stepped up to support people facing financial disruption throughout this pandemic, pouring billions of pounds more into our welfare system to support those facing the most financial disruption. Those were short-term, temporary measures—we know that—to support people during the pandemic. I hope he will agree that it is right that our focus should shift to supporting people back into work and to progress into work, because we know that the evidence suggests that work is the best route of poverty. We will achieve this with our £30 billion plan for jobs.