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End Child Poverty Coalition - More than half of children now living in poverty in some parts of the UK

29 Jan 2018 - 12:33 by helen.walker

The End Child Poverty coalition has published figures providing a new child poverty map of the UK. The new figures reveal that there are now constituencies within the UK where more than half of children are growing up in poverty – compared to one in ten, in the areas with the lowest child poverty rates.

The figures also show that some of the most deprived areas of the UK have seen the biggest increases in child poverty since the coalition’s last local child poverty figures for December 2015. Increases of 10 percentage points in some areas demonstrate the growing crisis of child poverty in the UK.

As price rises risk pushing ever larger numbers of children below the poverty line, the coalition is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children’s benefits – currently in place until the end of the decade – so that families no longer see living standards squeezed as prices rise.

The local child poverty estimates are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward. Child poverty is the highest in large cities, particularly in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Among the twenty parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of childhood poverty, seven are located in London, three in Birmingham, and three in Manchester. The Manchester Gorton constituency has the 5th highest child poverty rate in the UK at 47.97% and Manchester Central has a rate of 47.5% against a UK average of 27%.

Since the introduction of the benefit freeze, the coalition of charities, faith groups and unions has warned that as prices rise, low income families would find it increasingly hard to pay for the same basic essentials.

‘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’, said Sam Royston, Chair of End Child Poverty and Director of Policy and Research at the Children’s Society. ‘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.’

To read the full report and use the interactive poverty map, visit the End Child Poverty Coalition website.

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