Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 11:34 am, 17th June 2020

The Prime Minister says that poverty has not increased. I have just read a direct quote from a Government report, from a Government commission, produced last week, which says that it has gone up by 600,000. The Social Mobility Commission has a clear answer to my question:

“This anticipated rise is not driven by forces beyond our control”.

I gave the Prime Minister the number: 600,000. He did not reply. The report goes on to say, and this is a real cause for concern—[Interruption.] The Prime Minister is chuntering. He might want to listen. This is a real cause for concern because the commission goes on—[Interruption.] I am sure that the Prime Minister has read the report. On the increase to 5.2 million, it states that

“projections were made before the impact of COVID-19, which we expect to push more families into poverty.”

This is a serious issue. I am sure the Prime Minister would agree that an even higher child poverty rate would be an intolerable outcome from this pandemic. So what is he going to do to prevent it?