The Campaign to End Child Poverty last week published a report which shows that 42% of children in Liverpool Riverside are living below the poverty line, the fourth highest level in the country.
The table shown here is a breakdown of the statistics for each ward in the Riverside constituency.
The report highlighted the struggle facing families in a city hit hard by Government cuts and it is reprehensible that more than 2 in 5 children live in poverty.
On the 23rd January 2013, I challenged the Prime Minister on this, asking:
The Government’s welfare Bill will plunge 200,000 extra children into poverty, and children in places such as Liverpool are already suffering. Yet the Government want to make the poor go away by redefining poverty. Does the Prime Minister really think he is going to get away with that?
What I would say to the hon. Lady is that the introduction of universal credit is going to reduce the number of children living in relative-income poverty by around 250,000. Those are the figures.
On the issue of welfare, we face a clear choice. Given that in-work benefits have gone up by 20% over the last five years compared with just a 10% increase in wages, we believe that it is right that welfare benefits should not continue to go up ahead of wages. I note what Labour have done this week: great sound and fury, voting against the Bill and saying it is completely wrong, but completely refusing to reverse it. That is the complete policy vacuum that we face from the Labour party.
Liverpool is being hit disproportionately by Government cuts, with the City Council’s budget reduction amounting to £329 per person compared with an English average of £160. We face a toxic package of cuts – cuts to local services, council tax benefit, housing benefit and the bedroom tax. I will continue to press the Government on this issue and to speak up for the people of Liverpool.