Most children in UK’s poorest areas now growing up in poverty

More than half of all children in the UK’s very poorest areas are now growing up in poverty as the impact of cuts to benefits continues to be felt by the least well-off families, according to a new study reports The Guardian.

An analysis published by the End Child Poverty coalition of charities shows that the biggest increases in child poverty in the past two years have occurred in areas already identified as deprivation hotspots.

In four parliamentary constituencies – Bethnal Green and Bow, and Poplar and Limehouse in east London, and Ladywood and Hodge Hill in Birmingham – children are for the first time in recent years more likely than not to grow up poor.

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, the chair of End Child Poverty and the director of policy and research at the Children’s Society.

At a neighbourhood level the statistics are even more startling, with 62% of children in Coldhurst ward in Oldham living in poverty. In 87 wards, more than half of children are in poverty, an increase on 2015 when just 21 wards had 50% child poverty rates.

At the other end of the scale, as few as one in 10 children are in poverty in constituencies in affluent areas of the south-east of England. Child poverty levels in Theresa May’s Maidenhead constituency are 13.6%. The UK average is 27%.

Prof Donald Hirsch, of Loughborough University, who carried out the study, said it signalled hard times ahead for the poorest families in areas most reliant on benefits and tax credits. “Child poverty is going up tremendously in the next three years, and areas which have high dependency on the state income are going to be really, really hit.”

Read more Most children in UK’s poorest areas now growing up in poverty

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  1. So what did they do before the welfare state? We need to go back that far to find the answers because it is clear that the welfare state has solved nothing at all.

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