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Eradicating child poverty is an ambitious but important aspiration for any Government of this country. Not only is it an economic imperative, as no advanced economy can afford to waste the potential of so many of its citizens; more importantly it is a moral imperative, as no decent society should allow children to grow up in poverty.
Let us be clear that poverty exists in 21st century Britain, and for some communities it is the norm and not the exception. That situation is shameful and destructive. Some 10 years ago, the Government made a commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020. We can disagree about the approach that has been taken and the lack of progress that has been made, but we should all recognise the importance of setting out that ambition.
I reiterate the Conservative party's support for ending child poverty, and I remind hon. Members of the words of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition. He stated last year:
"I want...the government I aspire to lead to be judged on how we tackle poverty in office. Because poverty is not acceptable in our country today."
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