Suzy Stride slams Tories as child poverty in Harlow reaches 25%

Politics / Tue 21st Oct 2014 at 09:53am

FRIDAY’S International Eradication of Poverty Day was marked by a report demonstrating child poverty has reached 25.24% in the Harlow area. Research by the Child Poverty Action Group showed 3,637 children in Harlow were ‘in-work’ poverty while 1,447 were in ‘out of work’ poverty. This means they are children who are in families that are actually working.

Suzy Stride, who works for an organisation supporting young people into work, pointed to statistics published by the End Child Poverty campaign group that broke the Harlow area down by ward. The report identified seven Harlow wards as having more children in poverty than the 25.1% national average. Bush Fair, Mark Hall and Staple Tye were areas particularly afflicted, with Toddbrook having over 30% of children in poverty.

The Child Poverty Action Group estimate child poverty costs the UK at least £29 billion each year. Of this, £20.5 billion is a direct cost to government resulting from additional demand on services and benefits, as well as reduced tax receipts.

The group highlight the devastating impact poverty can have on society:

– In education: by the age of three poorer children are estimated to be, on average, nine months behind children from more wealth background. By 16, children receiving free school meals achieve 1.7 grades lower at GCSE.

– In health, children from lower income families are more likely to die at birth or in infancy than children born into richer families.

– Low income families are increasingly suffering fuel poverty, with a choice sometimes made between food and heating.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Harlow Suzy Stride was outraged by the figures: “It is shocking to hear that 1 in 4 children in Harlow are living below the poverty line, this is unacceptable and no one in Harlow will be happy to hear that under the Tories children’s development in Harlow is being hindered. Harlow is an aspiration town and we want to see children fulfilling their aspirations and potential, child poverty is a scar on young peoples and families lives and hold people back from fulfilling their potential. The Tories always have and always will be the party who are happy to help a privileged few at the expense of the many.

“These figures are just further proof that the Tories policies are disconnected from the lives of those who live in Harlow. I will place the cost of living crisis at the heart of what I do for Harlow. Labour is committed to easing the pain on hard-working families by freezing energy bills and raising the minimum wage to £8 an hour. Meanwhile the Conservatives continue to target those on low incomes with vindictive attacks like the Bedroom Tax.”

Friday 17th October was International Eradication of Poverty Day. The day has been observed each year since 1993 as part of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The UN are calling on people around the world to raise awareness about the issues by tweeting stories followed by #EndPoverty.

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1 Comment for Suzy Stride slams Tories as child poverty in Harlow reaches 25%:

2014-10-28 13:10:09

Remind me Suzy - who is in charge of Harlow Council? Would it be Labour? Labour claim to oppose the bedroom tax, yet have done NOTHING whatsoever to do anything about it in Harlow. Labour appointees are on most School Governing Bodies - so why are they not improving. Since Labour got back in charge of Harlow Council Council Tax has gone up. The energy bill freeze promised by Labou has stopped the current reduced prices being passed on to customers so it's a daft policy - as customers can opt for fixed price bills if they wish anyway. Then raising the minimum wage is pointless if it pushes those effected into the the next tax band making them actually worse off! Why not agree with us in UKIP and raise the personal allowance to £13,500 to keep these people out of tax! How about getting out of the EU and saving £55M a day so we can control our own boarders and help get our own people back into work. The truth is Labour have deserted the working class!

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