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Child Poverty Map of the UK report shows inequality in UK

Release Date: 20 Feb 2013

The Campaign to End Child Poverty, which Barnardo's is a leading member of has today published new figures that provide a child poverty map of the whole of the UK. These figures reveal the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region.

It is clear from these figures that there is a wide disparity in poverty rates across the UK and within regions. For example, in London, the constituency of Poplar and Limehouse has a child poverty rate of 41 per cent compared to just 7 per cent in Richmond. In the North West, whereas 38 per cent of children in Manchester are poor, in Ribble Valley the figure is just 7 per cent.

Why we are supporting this campaign:

Child poverty damages children’s experiences of childhood and harms their future life chances. We know from research earlier this year by Save the Children that:

  • Well over half of parents in poverty (61%) say they have cut back on food and over a quarter (26%) say they have skipped meals in the past year.
  • Around 1 in 5 parents in poverty (19%) say their children have to go without new shoes when they need them.
  • A large number of children in poverty say they are missing out on things that many other children take for granted, such as going on school trips (19%) and having a warm coat in winter (14%).
  • Only 1 in 5 parents in poverty (20%) say they have not had to borrow money to pay for essentials, such as food and clothes, in the past year.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Anne Marie Carrie said:

“Today’s statistics mask the individual stories of millions of children, whose life chances are being compromised by our nation’s failure to tackle child poverty effectively.

“Barnardo’s works with families in some of the most deprived areas of the UK through our services, and the grim reality is that many families are experiencing vicious cycles of debt and facing impossible choices between heating homes and eating hot meals.

“The Government must act now to end child poverty by providing practical help to the people who need it most, taking steps to bring down energy bills, tackle family debt, and make childcare more affordable.”

Enver Solomon, Chair of the Campaign said:

“The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region. Far too many children whose parents are struggling to making a living are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.

“The huge disparities that exist across the country have become more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long term poverty and disadvantage.

“Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make. We’re calling on authorities to prioritise low income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the bedroom tax. This week we have written to local authority leaders in the local authorities with the most child poverty, asking them what they will do to tackle child poverty in their local area.”

“The government must also closely examine its current strategy for reducing poverty and consider what more it could do to ensure millions of children’s lives are not blighted by the corrosive impact that poverty has on their daily existence.’’

You can read the full report here.

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