Karen Davis – photo © Julian Swainson

Labour’s candidate in Norwich North, Karen Davis, responding to a TUC report showing that the number of children growing up in poverty in working households in the East has increased by 96,879 (56 per cent), said:

“These figures bring shame on Chloe Smith and the Tories.

Since their cuts began, our region’s children have suffered one of the biggest increases in child poverty in the whole country.

“These are families where parents have to choose between putting the heating on, or giving their family a proper meal. Families who suffer the constant stress of trying to pay off debts. Families who can’t afford school trips, or to travel to see relatives just a few towns away.

“We’re one of the richest countries in the world – things don’t have to be like this.

“It’s now widely accepted that the coalition’s politically motivated cuts didn’t help our economy recover – they slowed us down. Will Chloe Smith now admit that those cuts failed?

You can’t trust Boris Johnson’s Tories or the Lib Dems to end child poverty, after they collaborated with each other on the cuts that caused this misery.

“We need real change. Labour will end in-work poverty with our £10 an hour real living wage – for everyone, immediately.”

Margaret Greenwood, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

“The Conservatives and Lib Dems should hang their heads in shame for nine years of austerity which has left working families struggling to feed their children, as shown by these new shocking figures.

“How we care for and protect our children is a mark of a civilised society. The TUC’s figures show just how badly Conservative and Lib Dem coalition governments have failed them.

“Labour will make tackling child poverty the priority it should be. We will provide 30 hours free childcare a week to all 2-4 year olds, free school meals to all primary school children and introduce a real living wage of at least £10 per hour for workers aged 16 and over.”

From 2010 the number of children living in poverty in the East of England has increased by 56%, from 171,637 to 268,516. This means 96,879 more children in our region are living in poverty since the Tories came into government.