by Hannah Lownsbrough Dec 11th, 2009
Last week, we handed in our petition calling on the government to take action on ending child poverty to Treasury Secretary Stephen Timms MP. 38 Degrees was represented by our volunteer, Louise Smith, who went to drop off the petition with colleagues from the End Child Poverty Coalition.
Louise described handing the petition to the Minister, “As he took delivery of our signatures, Treasury Secretary, Stephen Timms, asked, “Are these all from London then?” When I replied, “London and the rest of the country”, he said “Really?” sounding impressed and looking visibly surprised.”
Louise went on to say how important the campaign has been. ‘It has sent a strong nationwide message to the Chancellor that thousands of people want Britain’s poorest children taken care of in the next budget. But it’s a sad fact that each recession endured has created an ever-widening gap between the richest and the poorest in society. As more people join the ranks of the unemployed and children grow up deprived of necessities, we need to keep telling the government they have our mandate to reform the system and redistribute the wealth where it is urgently needed.”
This week, we had news that at least one of the demands in our petition – that the free school meals programme be extended to include more children in primary school – had been met by the government in the Pre-Budget Report. Now, we’re looking to this government and the next to take the necessary steps to make sure we end child poverty once and for all by 2020.