Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson slammed the government's "abysmal record" on housing as he exposed a shocking increase in the number of children who are forced to live in bed and breakfast accommodation since the Tories and Lib Dems came to power.
Speaking during a debate on temporary accommodation in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Bill quizzed Tory-Lib Dem Minister of State for Housing and Local Government Mark Prisk MP about the number of families with children living in temporary accommodation.
Bill told MPs: "We are talking about this Government’s abysmal record. Some 76,000 families are living in temporary housing. Of those, the number in bed-and-breakfast accommodation has gone up from 630 three years ago to 1,970 at the end of March this year. These figures show that the Government are not even following their own guidance, which says that B and B accommodation is not suitable for families with children. The truth is that this Government is failing families with children up and down the country as regards providing decent housing."
Speaking afterwards, Bill said the Tories and Lib Dems were failing to tackle the housing crisis and children and families, including right here in Sefton Central, are suffering as a direct consequence.
Bill said: "The figures speak for themselves. A total of 76,300 families are being forced to live in temporary accommodation because of the failed policies of this Tory-Lib Dem Government.
"When the last Labour Government left office, there were 630 families living in B&Bs. That was too many. But now that figure has gone up to near 2,000. And it is still rising.
"That is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.
"These are families who are being denied the opportunity to put down roots. These are children who are being denied the right to a stable upbringing. Denied the right to get access to stable schooling.
"The result is disastrous for those children who will suffer over the long term."
Bill said urgent action needs to be taken to tackle the problem.
Bill said: "We need affordable housing for families. We need suitable housing for rent, either through social housing or reputable private landlords.
"This government's housing policy is failing. They are more interested in giving developers the rights to build where they like, with the sky-high price tag to match.
"Children of all backgrounds deserve a stable upbringing, regardless of whether they are rich or not. This government has turned its back on the poorest while looking after the interests of their rich property developing friends."