Do the Tories want to tackle child poverty?
Just been to an interesting speech by James Purnell at the Social Market Foundation.
He said he was fairly sure the Tories do not have an aspiration, let alone a target for reducing child poverty and cited the failure of Chris Grayling to respond when challenged on this on Monday at DWP questions.
The Hansard illustrates this:
"James Purnell: The Government are committed to the goal of reducing child poverty. We continue to keep the strategy under review and we will make announcements at the appropriate time. However, it is surprising that the hon. Gentleman raises the issue when I do not believe that the Conservative party is committed to even an aspiration, let alone a pledge, to reduce child poverty. Perhaps he would like to answer that point.
Chris Grayling: I look forward to our changing jobs in the near future. From the lack of an answer to my question, I judge that the Government will not achieve their target of halving child poverty by 2010. Will the Secretary of State give the House a sense of when the Government hope to achieve that target?
James Purnell: As I said, the Government are committed to the target. The House will notice that the hon. Gentleman ducked the question on whether the Conservative party is committed to the goal. Under his predecessor, it was at least an aspiration, but it is not even that now. He is not prepared to say that he shares the aspiration of getting children out of poverty in this country, which is shameful."