Sunday 1 December 2019 / 2:23 PM Ian Lavery

Boris Johnson lied about the Tories’ child poverty record – Ian Lavery

Boris Johnson lies about Tory record as over four million children will spend Christmas in poverty

Boris Johnson has lied about the Conservatives’ record on child poverty, telling the Andrew Marr Show that “there are 400,000 fewer children in poverty than there were in 2010”, despite figures showing an increase of half a million.

In 2016 the Conservatives abolished the Child Poverty Act and scrapped targets to reduce poverty. 4.1 million children – that’s 30% of all children – now live in poverty in the United Kingdom.

A report by the Resolution Foundation found that Boris Johnson’s own manifesto, which preserves the coalition’s benefit cuts, risks child poverty rates rising to a 60-year high – to 5.2 million.

The Trussell Trust expects foodbank demand this Christmas to be even higher than last year, when it provided 186,185 three-day emergency food parcels, with almost 80,000 of those going to children.

Child poverty reduced dramatically under the last Labour government, which lifted around 900,000 children out of poverty.

The next Labour government will provide:

  • free school meals for all primary schoolchildren and a Right to Food to end the scandal of children and their families relying on foodbanks
  • an end to in-work poverty, abolishing zero-hours contracts and the public-sector pay freeze, and introducing a real living wage of at least £10 an hour
  • the expansion of free childcare and the opening of 1,000 new Sure Start centres
  • reforms to social security, scrapping Universal Credit, the Two-Child Limit and the Benefit Cap
  • a million homes over a decade to tackle the housing crisis
  • proper investment in local public services after a decade of Tory neglect

Ian Lavery, Labour Party Chair, said:

“Boris Johnson claimed the number of children living in poverty in our country has gone down, when the exact opposite is true.

“He cannot seem to open his mouth without telling a lie. You cannot trust a word he says.

“Labour will end foodbank Britain and lift children and families out of poverty. We’ll end in-work poverty, scrap Universal Credit and the immoral two-child limit, we’ll bring in a Real Living Wage of at​least £10 an hour for all workers 16 and over, end zero-hours contracts and strengthen trade union rights.

“This is the real change our country needs.”