The UK’s leading child poverty coalition is calling for the major Parties to outline ambitious child poverty-reduction strategies as new data published today shows that child poverty is becoming the norm in some parts of Britain, with more than 50% of children living trapped in poverty in some constituencies.
The data, published by the End Child Poverty coalition, highlights how worrying levels of child poverty vary across Britain and shows that poverty is on the rise – and rising fastest in places where it is already highest.
Researchers from Loughborough University estimated the numbers of children locked in poverty in each constituency, ward and local authority area across Britain, showing that child poverty is rising particularly rapidly in parts of major cities, especially London, Birmingham and Manchester, suggesting that inequality between areas is growing.
Campaigners are calling on the UK Government to:
- Restore the link between benefits (including housing support) and inflation, and then making up for the loss in the real value in children’s benefits as a result of the 4-year freeze and previous sub-inflation increases in benefit rates.
- End the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credits and universal credit – and reforming Universal Credit;
- Reverse the cuts and investing in children’s services such as mental health, education, childcare and social care.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chair of the End Child Poverty coalition, said: “We know what causes child poverty and we know how to end it.
“We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real-terms cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs.
“And we know that work alone does not guarantee a route out of poverty, with two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families.
“Yet in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception it’s the rule with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances.
“Policymakers can no longer deny the depth of the problem or abandon entire areas to rising poverty. The Government must respond with a credible child poverty-reduction strategy.
“The Government’s own data shows that child poverty in the UK has been rising steadily in recent years. This just isn’t right.
“Growing up in poverty means growing up trapped. It restricts a child’s chances of doing well at school, of living a healthy and happy life, and of finding well paid work as adults.
“We urgently need Government to set a course of action that will free our children from the grip of poverty.”
Disclaimer: This is an official press release from the End Child Poverty coalition.