19/11/2008

Ministers Attend London Child Poverty Summit

There's to be a combined effort to tackle the issue of child poverty today as Children's Minister, Beverley Hughes; Financial Secretary, Stephen Timms; Minister for London, Tony McNulty; Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and London Councils' Chairman Councillor Merrick Cockell meet to discuss London's child poverty problems and to announce a joint target to raise the number of parents in employment by 3% by 2013.

The Ministers and Mayor will sit down with London Councillors and business leaders in a closed meeting chaired by Kate Green from the London Child Poverty Commission to discuss more ways to work together to help bring an end to child poverty in the capital in line with the Government's target of eradicating national child poverty by 2020.

As part of the plans for the capital, which has the highest child poverty rate in the country with 31% of children living in poverty, Ministers will introduce the London Child Poverty Pledge.
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Ending Child Poverty in London will require a contribution from a wide range of organisations - including local authorities, public services and charities.

The Pledge asks these organisations to do more to tackle child poverty by improving the services they provide for poor families, and ensuring their employment practices support parents to enter, stay and progress in work.

This will begin to generate the widespread commitment and action required to meet the challenging target of ending child poverty.

At the morning summit, Beverley Hughes, Stephen Timms and Tony McNulty will sign the Pledge, highlighting the Government's continued commitment to ending child poverty.

Children's Minister, Beverley Hughes said: "Child poverty in the UK more than doubled during the 1980's and 1990's and we are still dealing with that legacy which is why ending child poverty has to be everyone's business.

"This Government is committed to improving the lives of children and young people right across Britain and we are making substantial progress.

"Since 1998/99 child poverty in inner London has fallen by 8%, and with the help from businesses and organisations across the capital we can reduce this further, faster."

(JM)

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