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Low-income Families: Equity of Opportunity

Volume 678: debated on Wednesday 22 July 2020

What steps the Government are taking to help ensure equity of opportunity for people from low-income families. (905159)

The Government are committed to helping individuals from low-income families to progress at work and to a system to increase their incomes and level up opportunities. The aforementioned baroness, Ruby McGregor-Smith, is leading our DWP in-work progression commission, which is identifying challenges that individuals might face and finding practical solutions to help them to overcome the barriers faced across all communities.

Most likely to drop out of school with no qualifications, most likely to commit suicide and already falling behind in terms of attainment compared with all their peers by the age of five—the plight of white working-class boys still seems to be an unfashionable one, but although these young men have some of the worst life chances of any group anywhere in our country, the Equality Act 2010 does not touch on socioeconomic disparity or poverty. It seems like every other group in society, apart from these boys, has some kind of positive action in place. What can my hon. Friend do to ensure that this is the last generation of lost boys from places such as Mansfield who do not have the same opportunity in life as their peers?

The evidence is understood that early language and learning skills have a fundamental impact on a child’s education and future life chances. The Government are bringing in extra support for all disadvantaged children, including white working-class children—I know that my hon. Friend sees that as key to no area being left behind. The Department for Education has set up the Hungry Little Minds campaign, targeting low-income parents to support their child’s early language development, which is key to help them to set up for school and boost their life chances.