Tory MPs accused of sabotaging bill aimed at tackling child poverty

Posted On: 
3rd February 2017

Labour MP Dan Jarvis has hit out after Tory backbenchers talked out his private member's bill on child poverty.

Dan Jarvis said his bill running out of time was a 'missed opportunity'

The Barnsley Central MP, tipped in some quarters as a future Labour leader, had put forward proposals for a new child poverty target.

His private member's bill was due to have its second reading in the Commons today, but there was not enough time for the legislation to progress after MPs spoke for over three hours about Tory MP David Tredinnick's bill on council car parking charges.

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The bill would have required the Government to produce a child poverty target and an accompanying strategy, including consulting the Social Mobility Commission. 

In a piece for Central Lobby this morning, Mr Jarvis pointed to IFS research suggesting that without concerted action child poverty would rise by 50% by 2020. 

Following today's session he put the blame on Conservative MPs for halting the bill's progress.

“Parliament has previously united behind a target, so I had hoped that MPs from all parties would once again come together," he said.

“This was an opportunity for the Government to make good on its promise to those who are 'just about managing'.

"It was a test of the Prime Minister’s commitment to fight the burning injustices that she spoke about on the steps of Downing Street.”

He added: “Sadly, instead of giving a voice to the 3.9 million children who grow up in poverty, the Tories reduced the time available to debate and vote on the Child Poverty Bill.

"This is a missed opportunity to target child poverty that will be felt for years to come.”