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UK's poorest children bearing the greatest burden of the recession - Turn2us

Save the Children information on their Child Poverty 2012: It Shouldn't Happen Here report (link opens in a new window)The parents of Britain's poorest children are going hungry in order to feed them; are unable to afford warm coats or new shoes; and suffering enormous emotional strain, according to a new Save the Children report.

Child Poverty 2012: It Shouldn't Happen Here highlights children's and parents' experiences of living in recession-hit Britain and the extent to which poverty is blighting young lives. It is based on interviews with more than 1,500 young people and 5,000 parents.

Key findings

The report's key findings include:

  • One in eight of the poorest children in the UK go without at least one hot meal a day
  • One in ten of the UK's poorest parents have cut back on food for them to make sure that their children have enough to eat
  • Children worry about their family not having enough money, with more than half of those living in poverty saying the lack of cash made their parents unhappy or stressed
  • Almost a quarter of the poorest parents say they are arguing more or snap at their children because of their money worries
  • One in seven of the poorest children say they have to go without a warm winter coat and new shoes when they need them
  • Nearly a fifth of children living in poverty say they miss out on school trips because their parents haven't got the money
  • 80% of parents say they were borrowing more money for essentials such as food and clothes.

Save the Children's call to the Government

Save the Children says that witnessing the financial worries of their parents is placing an impossible burden on children when they should be concentrating on school and their future careers.

They are calling on the Government to:

  • encourage more employers to pay the Living Wage so parents can earn enough to lift their children out of poverty
  • Strengthen the new welfare system - especially Universal Credit - by allowing working parents to keep more of their earnings before benefits are withdrawn
  • Help parents to afford to work by providing extra child care support so 80% of costs are covered.

Find out more about the Child Poverty 2012: It Shouldn't Happen Here report (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us resources

If you are struggling to make ends meet, you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to welfare benefits and the Turn2us Grants Search Database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund. See also our Information and Resources sections on Benefits for people expecting or bringing up a child.

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