In January, the Child of the North All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), of which I am Co-Chair, launched our report into child poverty and the cost-of-living crisis, highlighting the brutal impact the crisis is having on children living in the North, which the report found are the most vulnerable to the cost-of-living crisis.
The report shows that child poverty, including fuel poverty and food insecurity, is higher in the North than the rest of England. Child poverty in the North East is now the highest in the country at 38%.
The scale and severity of deprivation is now unprecedented and undeniable, and the current economic chaos will deepen the child poverty crisis; the Government must act now.
The APPG report presents policy measures that, if implemented, could ensure that children in our region are never left hungry, cold or without. These measures include the expansion of Free School Meals to all children whose families are in receipt of universal credit and increasing benefits in a timely way in line with inflation.
Immediate action must be taken so the children of the North can fulfil their potential. The Government can no longer ignore the stark regional disparities in our country.