Voice of the Mirror: The plight of four million kids in the UK living in poverty

The Tories’ evil legacy

Today the Mirror shines a spotlight on the plight of millions of children in Britain who are living in poverty.

Twenty years ago the Labour government pledged to end the scourge of child poverty.

Great advances were made by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown only for the Tories to undo all the good work.

Rather than pursue this noble goal they imposed policies that inflicted more misery on the poorest households. The figures are a terrible indictment of 10 years of Conservative rule and shame those responsible.

There are now more than four million kids living in poverty – 500,000 more than in 2010.

Welfare cuts driven through without compassion or any attempt to understand their consequences mean this number is set to rise a further one million within three years.

Behind every statistic is a real story.

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It may be that of a child going hungry at school or living in cramped and inadequate accommodation.

It may be a youngster unable to keep warm as there is no cash for a winter coat.

The scandal is not just that so many children have been condemned to a life of harshness but that they are denied a chance to thrive.

This Government talks about wanting to level up. If it is genuine about this it could start by levelling up social security payments.

Our Give Me Five campaign is demanding a £5 rise in child benefit which would immediately lift 200,000 children above the breadline.

There are always pressures on Government spending – but we cannot think of a greater priority than saving a generation of children from destitution.

A hospital patient in Berkshire has become the first person in the UK to die from the coronavirus.

Such is the severity of the outbreak many more families will face the grief of losing a loved one in the weeks ahead.

At this anxious time we must look out for our friends and neighbours and continue to follow the official advice to wash our hands thoroughly and use tissues for coughs and sneezes.

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