Speaking in a Parliamentary debate on child poverty, Imran criticised the Government’s strategy to tackle the issue, and called them out over their rhetoric of more employment.
According to the Office of National Statistics, 10,315 children are classed as living in child poverty in Bradford, leaving over one quarter of the District’s children in deprivation as opposed to the national average of 18.2%, a figure raised by Imran in the debate who branded it “unacceptable.”
Despite the Government’s claims that they are making progress on eradicating child poverty through increasing employment, research also shows that almost two thirds of poor children are in families with at least one adult in work, and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has found that even under the most optimistic scenarios for parental employment and earnings, around one in five children nationally would still be in relative and absolute poverty by 2020.
In response, Imran called for an end to the Government’s rhetoric of just “more employment” and instead for a focus on high-skill, high-wage roles so that families can’t just survive, but live properly”. He also pointed to the fact that many of the newly created jobs are zero-hours contracts, part-time work and poorly paid which do not go towards eradicating child poverty in Bradford.
Speaking on the rising levels of child poverty, Imran said:
“The Government say time and time again that they are reducing child poverty by increasing employment, but it is clear from the mass of evidence from those who are working but in poverty that this approach is not working, and instead there needs to be a greater focus on creating high-skill, high-wage roles that cities such as Bradford need.
“However rather than deliver these jobs, the Government and HMRC are taking them away with plans to close the HMRC centres in Bradford, which will see the hundreds of jobs that they create move out of Bradford and into Leeds, a move that I am resolutely calling to be reversed.
“It is also clear to me that this Tory Government is not serious about tackling poverty, as their plans to water down the last Labour Government’s Child Poverty Act with the removal of child poverty reduction targets shows, and I am glad that the House of Lords saw sense and defeated these plans on Monday.”