On Friday 3 February 2017 Dan Jarvis MP moved the Child Poverty in the UK (Target for Reduction) Bill in the House of Commons to establish a target for the reduction of child poverty in the United Kingdom. Valerie Vaz MP raised this Bill at Business Questions on Thursday 9 February 2017.

Valerie Vaz MP said:

“The UK is set for the biggest increase in child poverty in a generation. Under the Government, in Walsall South there are 9,563 children living in poverty which amounts to 37% of children. In the UK, 3.9 million children currently live in poverty. That is 28% of children or 9 in a classroom of 30.”

“No child in Britain should have to grow up in poverty. For those children who do, poverty represents a real barrier to them reaching their potential. They are more likely to fall behind in school, less likely to secure a job, and more likely to suffer from illness.”

“In 2015, the Government scrapped children poverty targets, brought in by the last Labour government, meaning they have no legal duty to tackle the number of children in poverty. IFS research suggests that without concerted action child poverty will rise by 50% by 2020.”

“The failing of this Bill to pass its second reading shows a fault in democracy in Parliament. The Procedure Committee published two reports on Private Members Bills which identified that ‘talking out’ a Bill is an obstacle to a Bill’s progress. The Committee recommended a guaranteed vote on second reading and the imposition of time limits on speeches at Parliamentary proceedings on Fridays.”

“I have previously raised the issue of Bills being ‘talked out’ at Business Questions but given that the Child Poverty Bill was recently ‘talked out’, I raised this again with the Leader on 9 February 2017.”

“Many hard-working Members who have worked hard on their Bills want to see them get through.”