Child poverty rates in the North East have risen at three times the UK average since 2013, according to a new study.
Figures released today by the IPPR North think tank show that child poverty rose between 2013 and 2019 by 9 percentage points in the North East, compared to 3 percentage points across the UK.
This follows a fall in child poverty between 1999 and 2013 of 13 percentage points in the North East, and 6 percentage points across the UK.
The study also warns that children in the North and the North East are already at a disadvantage, because communities across the region continue to bear the scars of Westminster’s austerity and the UK’s deep regional divides.
The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, has also intervened to say that as a society we must put ‘the interests and needs of our children and young people first’ amid calls for child poverty in the North East to be made a priority for local and national leaders.
‘This report is an urgent call to action,’ said the Bishop.
‘If we wish to avoid being condemned by our actions or inaction in this our time, as a society we have to commit to putting the interests and needs of our children and young people first.
‘I warmly welcome this report and pledge to do all I can to see that its recommendations do not stay as a list of good intentions on a page, but rather shape and focus our actions, at the personal, regional and national level.’
The director of IPPR North, Sarah Longlands added: ‘Today we’re joining with people across the North East to speak up for those children without a voice that need to be prioritised: let’s learn from Scotland’s ambitious plans to end child poverty and make it a priority for devolution in the North East too.
‘If this government is to give its ‘levelling up’ soundbite any meaning, then it must make ending child poverty in places like the North East its priority. Government should begin by setting out in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review how they will double down on levelling up life chances for children across the North.
‘This needs to include putting ending child poverty at the heart of future devolution deals,’ added Ms Longlands.
Photo Credit – Chronomarchie (Pixabay)