The Green Party is challenging Manchester City Council to set Child Poverty Reduction targets and dedicate resources to reducing the number of families living in poverty to the national average within 5 years. The city has the highest levels of childpoverty outside London.
Deyika Nzeribe, Co-Chair of Manchester Green Party said "This should be the minimum aim if Manchester City Council wants to show its commitment to tackling child poverty seriously. Following the elections, we now know we have a purely Conservative government in place for the next 5 years. We can expect deeper cuts causing far more hardship. Labour council leaders must act now! We can't leave this issue to be dealt with by foodbanks."
He added: "While council leaders are in the news being photographed with topTories like George Osborne, in the much spoken about race for a Greater Manchester Mayor and devolution from central government, these incredible levels of child poverty must not be forgotten."
EndChildPoverty [has reported that 39% of families with children in Manchester live in poverty, which is nearly 10% more than every major city in the North of England. This is despite Manchester being the third wealthiest city in the country. Moreover, the figure of 39% of families with children in poverty is just the average across Manchester. In Hulme it is 47% and Moss Side its 49%, with Rusholme, Longsight and Ardwick suffering similar deprivation.
The Greens say that though politicians in the city frequently point to the government as being responsible, other Labour councils in the North have notably lower levels of child poverty. Following this year’s elections, Manchester has a 100% Labour Council and the MP for Manchester Central, the constituency where child poverty is worst, is the shadow minister for Children and Families.
Deyika Nzeribe stated: “Even if some people or politicians were to feel no moral urgency to act, it should be recognised that lowering poverty and inequality also improves health and reduces crime within a population, reducing the cost to the state It should be an aspiration of a healthy, growing city to be reducing and eradicating child poverty."