20% of British children 'living in poverty'

Constituencies in Manchester, Belfast and Glasgow are poorest for children

One in five British children live below the poverty line, according to research released today.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty published figures today showing that 20.2 per cent of British children are classified as below the poverty line, before housing costs.

In eight areas of large cities, more than four out of every 10 children lived in poverty in 2012, the research showed.

But that is a decrease on the 19 parliamentary constituencies that had 40 per cent of children living in poverty in 2011.

The poorest constituency for children was Manchester Central, with nearly half (47 per cent) of children living in poverty.

More than four in 10 children were living in poverty in Belfast West (43 per cent), Glasgow North East (43 per cent), Ladywood, Birmingham (42 per cent), Liverpool Riverside (42 per cent), and Middlesbrough (40 per cent).

In London, 40 per cent of children were living in poverty in Tower Hamlets, 42 per cent of children were below the poverty line in the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow while 41 per cent were living in poverty in Poplar and Limehouse.

The situation has broadly improved since 2011, except in some areas of the North East of England.

In Newcastle, 38 per cent of children were poor in 2012, compared with 29 per cent in 2011, while in Middlesbrough the figure rose to 40 per cent from 38 per cent in the previous year.

Child poverty was the lowest in Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency (below 5 per cent).

It was also under 10 per cent in Prime Minister David Cameron's Witney constituency, the report said.

The figures revealed the wide disparity in poverty rates across the UK and within regions.

For example, in London, 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 the local authority area of Manchester are poor, in Ribble Valley the figure is just 7 per cent.

In the figures, children are classified as being in poverty if they live in families receiving out of work benefits or in-work tax credits where their reported income is less than 60 per cent of median income.

The report said: “This is not a direct measure of exactly how many children are in poverty on the official definition, but is the closest to an equivalent measure we have of local levels of child poverty (these data should therefore not be used for direct comparisons with official national and regional figures). The figures are estimates for mid-2012.”

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 make 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.”

Rhian Beynon, of the support charity Family Action, said: “The Government must explain urgently how it is going to address these devastating findings by the End Child Poverty Campaign. For every child counted poor by this report there is a parent struggling to keep a roof over their heads, the house warm and food on the table.

”But on top of this daily struggle their child faces worse prospects for their education, a job and health. We know that what makes a difference is a mixture of support from services and the welfare system and it is the Government which sends the most important signal on these policies to local authorities.“

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: ”We are committed to eradicating child poverty, but we want to take a new approach by tackling the root causes including worklessness, educational failure and family breakdown.

“Our welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities, with the Universal Credit simplifying the complex myriad of benefits and making three million people better off.”

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £38,000

£16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Sales Advisor - OTE 18k-23k

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Ford's leading Parts Who...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to learn ...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders