Tory MEPs vote against EU action to tackle child poverty

Conservative MEPs voted today against a report calling for the European Commission and national governments to take action to reduce inequalities – especially child poverty.

Siôn Simon MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on employment and social affairs, said:

“Labour MEPs have always championed a better quality of life, especially for the most vulnerable in society – while Tory MEPs seem intent on maintaining a situation where poverty needlessly affects young people.

“2.3 million children are living in poverty in the UK, and this report calls for a real commitment from national governments to tackle the factors which are causing child poverty and increase the scope of social support for children.

“The factors that influence child poverty the most are wealth redistribution policies and labour policy, particularly salary levels and social rights, and this report promotes labour laws that guarantee a statutory adequate minimum wage in accordance with national practices and collective agreements, which will provide greater security for families and fight precarious employment like zero-hours contracts.”

Siôn Simon MEP added:

“Social inequality reproduces disadvantages and is at the very core of child poverty, and today’s report tackles both the consequences and causes of child poverty. It is more important than ever in the UK where the number of children living in poverty has risen and risen.

“Labour MEPs believe children should be guaranteed the right to education, health services, housing, protection, to participate in decisions that affect them, leisure and free time, a balanced diet and to be raised within a family.

“The UK and EU still have a long way to go to achieve those goals and we welcome this important step in achieving those aims.”