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Child bed poverty to be debated by MPs

14 December 2022

On Monday 19 December, MPs will debate a petition relating to child bed poverty.

Catherine McKinnell MP, Chair of the Petitions Committee, has been asked by the Committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and the Government will send a minister to respond.

Child bed poverty

The petition, which has more than 18,000 signatures, states: “‘Sleep should be acknowledged as a key public health issue, which is as crucial for our wellbeing as diet or exercise.’ - Mental Health Foundation

Buttle UK 2018 estimated up to 400,000 children in the UK didn’t have a bed.

Schools, national media outlets and third sector organisations- including Zarach - have documented the impact of long-term tiredness on a child’s capacity to learn & the increasing rates of bed poverty due to the pandemic & the surge of families fleeing domestic abuse.”

In its response to the petition, provided on 23 March 2022, the Government said: “Sleep is vital to children’s health, development and wellbeing. The government is tackling the underlying causes that lead to children being deprived of sleep.”

What are petitions debates?

Petitions debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.

Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means MPs will not vote to decide on methods to tackle child bed poverty at the end of the debate.

Further information

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