Child poverty levels have risen in the majority of constituencies in the UK, research has revealed.
More than 30% of children in England, Wales ( 30%), Scotland and Northern Ireland (24%) are living in poverty, according to the research carried out by Loughborough University and poverty charity Turn2us for the End Child Poverty coalition.
The research found that stagnating incomes, high housing costs and cuts to the social security system have pushed many families to the brink, even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the proportion of children living in poverty who are in working households has increased from 67% five years ago to 75%.
Sara Willcocks, head of external affairs at Turn2us, said it is morally unacceptable for children to be allowed to grow up in poverty.
‘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:
A government spokesperson said: ‘We are already supporting families who are most in need, spending billions more on welfare and planning a long-term route out of poverty by protecting jobs through furlough and helping people find new work through our Plan for Jobs.
‘We also introduced our £269m Covid Local Support Grant to help children and families stay warm and well-fed throughout the pandemic.’
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