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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP to open Stratford launch of EU Year to Combat Poverty

A major event is taking place in Stratford Town Hall tomorrow (1 December) to launch the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, is giving one of the opening speeches at the event where experts in the field will be discussing ways to reduce poverty and inequality. Local residents and groups are encouraged to join the debate with policy-makers and suggest positive ways forward for London.

Jean Lambert MEP said:

“It is simply unacceptable that four in ten children in London live in poverty. Many people across the capital are struggling to find work, or are on low pay or in casual jobs. Initiatives like the London Living Wage can go a long way towards ensuring that everyone earns a reasonable wage that they can live on and decent levels of income support, like the state pension and jobseekers allowance, are also vital for combating poverty and inequality.

“Despite rising pressure on national budgets, public spending on financial support and essential services, like social housing, education, healthcare and social care, must be safeguarded. If we fail to ensure their continued provision we will simply increase inequality in our society and that will benefit no-one.”

The conference will also include an exhibition of work on the theme of anti-poverty and the whole event is free and open to the public. A crèche is available for children under five years of age.

Into 2010 The European Year Against Poverty will take place at The Old Town Hall Stratford, 29 The Broadway E15 4BQ from 10-4pm on Tuesday 1st December.

Notes to Editors

More than 78 million people in the European Union live in poverty (set at 60% of a country’s median income). In March 2000, governments across Europe pledged to make “a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty” by the year 2010. This year has now been officially designated as the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion (EY2010).