Child poverty continues to rise
New figures released today reveal that child poverty has continued to rise in the majority of constituencies in the UK, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, highlights national poverty charity Turn2us.
The latest data shows that 31% of children in Wales are in poverty, 30% in England and 24% in Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to the research carried out by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty coalition.
Stagnating incomes, high housing costs and cuts to the social security system have pushed many families to the brink. The rise in poverty comes despite most families working. The proportion of children living in poverty who are in working households has increased from 67% five years ago to 75% now.
Sara Willcocks, Head of External Affairs at Turn2us, said:
“The impact of growing up in poverty is well documented; children in low income households have worse mental and physical health, they do less well in schools and have fewer opportunities in the future. This is why it is morally unacceptable for any child, let alone millions, to be allowed to grow up in financial hardship.
“Unfortunately, our children are now paying the debt for a decade of austerity, cuts and freezes. Wages have been allowed to remain low, rents have been free to rise and nothing has been done to tackle the soaring cost of living.
“If the government truly believes in compassion and justice, ministers must fully commit to solving it. We are urging the Prime Minister to listen to our recommendations and include them in a comprehensive strategy to end child poverty once and for all.”
End Child Poverty is calling for an urgent Government plan to end child poverty including:
- Create a credible plan to end child poverty
- Increase child benefits
- Maintain the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and extend to legacy benefits
Notes to editors
- The research was carried out by Dr Juliet Stone and Professor Donald Hirsch at the Centre for Research in Social Policy, at Loughborough University based on the latest Before Housing Cost child poverty data from DWP published in March 2021.
- Report and data all available on the End Child Poverty Website