Child poverty in UK is 'growing crisis', research shows

Child poverty in UK is 'growing crisis', research shows

Child poverty is highest in large cities (Stock image)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Half of the children in some parts of the UK are growing up in poverty, revealing a "growing crisis," a new report has warned.

Research by the End Child Poverty coalition showed that some of the most deprived areas of the country have seen the biggest increases in child poverty during the past few years.

The Government has been urged to end the freeze on children's benefits so that families no longer see living standards "squeezed" as prices rise.

Child poverty covers those in a family living on less than 60% of median household income and is highest in large cities, particularly London, Birmingham and Manchester, the report said.

More than half of children in the constituencies of Bethnal Green and Bow and Poplar and Limehouse in London as well as Birmingham Ladywood and Birmingham Hodge Hill were said to be living in poverty.

Tower Hamlets in London heads a list of local authorities with the highest percentage of children in poverty at 53%, the lowest is the Isles of Scilly at 5%.

End Child Poverty chair Sam Royston said: "It is scandalous that a child born in some parts of the UK now has a greater chance of growing up in poverty, than being in a family above the breadline.

"There can be little doubt that the Government's policy of maintaining the benefits freeze despite rising prices is a major contributor to the emerging child poverty crisis."

A Government spokesman said: "The best route out of poverty is through employment, and since 2010 an extra three million more people are now in work and 600,000 fewer children are living in workless households.

"But we recognise that budgets are tight, and that's why we're helping families keep more of what they earn. We've doubled free childcare, worth £5,000 per child each year, while our £2.5 billion pupil premium programme is supporting two million disadvantaged school children across the country."

The End Child Poverty coalition is made up of almost 100 organisations including children's charities, faith groups and trade unions.