Child poverty has risen sharply in parts of the Midlands and Northern towns and cities over the past four years, according to a new study.
Research published today by the End Child Poverty coalition shows that, before the pandemic, in some parts of the country the majority of children were growing up in poverty, once housing costs are taken into account.
The greatest concentrations of children living in poverty are in London and parts of Birmingham.
In a dozen constituencies in London and Birmingham, more than half the children are living below the poverty line.
But according to the study, child poverty has risen fastest in parts of the Midlands and Northern towns and cities over the last four years. Middlesbrough and parts of Tyneside have seen child poverty rates soar by over 10 percentage points since 2014/15.
The coalition has called on the government to recognise the scale of the problem and its impact on children’s lives.
They are urging ministers to set out an ambitious plan to tackle child poverty, including investing in housing and children’s services.
‘The government can be in no doubt about the challenge it faces if it is serious about “levelling up” disadvantaged parts of the country,’ said the chair of End Child Poverty, Anna Feuchtwang.
‘This new data reveals the true extent of the hardship experienced by families on low incomes – the overwhelming majority of which were working households before the pandemic. The children affected are on a cliff edge, and the pandemic will only sweep them further into danger,’ she added.
‘The prime minister must urgently admit to the true extent of child poverty in our country rather than resorting to his own inaccurate statistics. An ambitious plan to put this shameful situation right would be transformational for millions of children. As a matter of urgency, we are calling on the chancellor not to go ahead with planned cuts to universal credit which would see families lose out on £1,000 a year. Given today’s data, this cut is unconscionable.’
Photo Credit – Alexas-Fotos (Pixabay)