Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Abandoned to poverty

Child poverty is tightening its grip on Britain's poorest families research, carried out by Prof Donald Hirsh at the University of Loughborough, found the situation was getting worse in places where child poverty was already at the highest level.
About two-thirds of children are living in poverty-hit families in pockets of some large cities, the study for End Child Poverty Coalition estimates. More than half of children in over 200 parliamentary constituencies are below the poverty line, statistical analysis of official indices of poverty shows. These areas are in large cities like London, Greater Manchester and Birmingham, with the rankings changing around a little, depending on whether housing costs are taken into account.
But the ward with the highest level of child poverty in Britain is Bastwell in Blackburn. Here, 69% of children are living in poverty. A community worker in the area, Abdul Muller, who runs the Healthy Living charity at the Bangor Community Centre in the area, said high poverty rates were down to low pay, zero-hours contracts and cuts to support services. 

The top four hardest-hit areas, if housing costs are included, are the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Islington. In Greater Manchester, the child poverty rate (before housing costs) is 40% - nearly double the UK average of 22%.

The coalition of poverty charities says whole areas are abandoned to poverty. Coalition chairwoman Anna Feuchtwang said: "In many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception, it's the rule - and with more children expected to get swept up in child poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances. Policymakers can no longer deny the depth of the problem or abandon entire areas to rising poverty.”

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