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Child Poverty: Becoming 'new normal'

  • 15/05/2019
  • Author:bridgetmccall

Fastest rises in poverty hit the poorest areas - End Child Poverty Campaign

Young girl on a swing

Child poverty is becoming the ‘new normal’ in parts of Britain as fastest rises in poverty hit the poorest areas. This is according to new data published by the End Child Poverty coalition - of which Turn2us is a member.

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.

  • In some constituencies, more than half of children are growing up in poverty

  • Impoverished areas see the greatest rises in child poverty

  • Child poverty highest in big cities, particularly London, Birmingham and Greater Manchester

  • 500 thousand more children are having their lives limited by poverty today than at the start of the decade.

End Child Poverty coalition comments

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."

Call to action

End Child Poverty is calling for Government to set out an ambitious and credible child poverty-reduction strategy, including:

  • Restoring 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 four-year freeze and previous sub-inflation increases in benefit rates

  • Ending the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credits and universal credit-and reforming Universal Credit

  • Reversing the cuts and investing in children’s services such as mental health, education, childcare and social care.

Read the Poverty in your Area 2019 report

Source: End Child Poverty press release: Child Poverty is becoming the new normal in parts of Britain

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