Barbara attended the parliamentary launch of Save the Children’s UK child poverty exhibition at the Upper Waiting Hall, House of Commons, on Monday 26th February.
The photography exhibition, ‘Missing Pieces’, by photojournalist Anna Kari, captures the harsh reality of life for the 3.4 million children living below the poverty line in the UK today.
Department of Work & Pensions Child Poverty Minister, Jim Murphy MP, opened the exhibition, which runs until 1st March, and invited other MPs to join him in signing up to Save the Children’s child poverty pledge.
Speaking today, Barbara, who works closely with Jim Murphy on child poverty issues as his Parliamentary Private Secretary, said:
“The Save the Children exhibition really brought home what child poverty means in this country. It’s pitiful that in this day and age parents in the UK are still struggling to afford the basic necessities like hot healthy food and warm clothes for their children. Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the EU we have some of the highest rates of child poverty. I have signed up to Save the Children’s poverty pledge saying that I will do all I can as a parliamentarian to ensure that child poverty in the UK is eradicated by 2020.”
Colette Marshall, UK Director of Save the Children, said:
“All three major political parties have now signed up to the target of eradicating child poverty by 2020 and yet our campaign continues. The Government now needs to turn their promises and rhetoric into reality and use the vital opportunities of 2007, the Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review, to change the lives of the poorest children in Britain.”
Save the Children is calling for the Government to introduce two Seasonal Grants to support families at the points of year when they are facing acute financial pressure. An additional £4.5bn (0.3% of GDP) is needed to ensure that the next milestone towards the child poverty target is met in 2010.