Ruffley attends lauch of photographic exhibition on child poverty in the UK

Friday, 2 March, 2007

David Ruffley MP, David Cameron's Welfare Reform Minister, attended the parliamentary launch of Save the Children's UK child poverty exhibition at the Upper Waiting Hall, House of Commons, on Monday 26 February.

The photography exhibition, 'Missing Pieces', by photojournalist Anna Kari, captures the harsh reality of life for the 3.4 million children living below the poverty line in the UK today.

David Ruffley was invited in his capacity as Shadow Minister for Welfare Reform with responsibility for this area.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 10.3% of children in the Bury St Edmunds constituency live in poverty.

David said:

'I know Suffolk is a county with a social conscience- my mailbag is bulging with letters highlighting child poverty. I am delighted to be able to support Save the Children in drawing attention to this important issue.

'The Save the Children exhibition really brought home what child poverty means in this country.

'It's pitiful that in this day and age parents in the UK are still struggling to afford the basic necessities like hot healthy food and warm clothes for their children. Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the EU we have some of the highest rates of child poverty.'

Colette Marshall, UK Director of Save the Children, said:

'All three major political parties have now signed up to the target of eradicating child poverty by 2020 and yet our campaign continues. The Government now needs to turn their promises and rhetoric into reality and use the vital opportunities of 2007, the Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review, to change the lives of the poorest children in Britain.'

Save the Children is calling for the Government to introduce two Seasonal Grants to support families at the points of year when they are facing acute financial pressure. An additional £4.5 billion (0.3% of GDP) is needed to ensure that the next milestone towards the child poverty target is met in 2010.