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Mark questions Prime Minister about high levels of child poverty in Preston

(June 19, 2013)

Mark Hendrick questioned the Prime Minister about the high levels of child poverty in Preston at Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday 19th June 2013).

Mark highlighted that under the Labour Government, one million children were lifted out of poverty in the UK and now as many as 1 in 3 children in Preston are living in poverty, with 1 in 6 children in the country affected.  Mr Hendrick also highlighted the relatively lower levels (10%) in Mr Cameron’s own constituency of Witney and asked what he was doing about the high levels of child poverty.

Mr Cameron failed to adequately answer the question forcing Speaker John Bercow to reprimand the Prime Minister for evading the question.

Households with a median income of below 60%, (before housing costs) is a common indicator of relative poverty and the number of children living in poverty has fallen from 3.4 million in 1997 to 2.3 million in 2010.  The latest data shows that there were 6,225, an estimated 29% of children living in poverty in Preston in 2010.  According to these statistics, Preston had the 98th highest child poverty rate out of the 650 constituencies in the UK.

Mark said: ‘Behind these statistics are hard working people struggling daily to provide for their families.  The government’s austerity measures; the welfare reforms, cuts to the local authorities, damaging childcare policies and the bedroom tax are all taking their toll on the most vulnerable in our society.  The inequalities are growing and I fear that the government will be far from meeting their own targets for ending child poverty by 2020.’ 

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