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Child poverty map reveals deep disparities
As members of the campaign to End Child Poverty, we have produced a new map that reveals widely varying levels across of child poverty across the UK. While some areas have less than 5% of children in poverty, many others have rates higher than 30%. In the case of one local authority, Tower Hamlets in London, 42% of children live in poverty.
The map emphasises the need for urgent action to end child poverty. Each day, far too many children are in families that have to make tough decisions about whether to buy their children a winter coat or heat their home.
Worryingly, the situation is likely to get worse in coming years. Cutting financial support for many of the lowest income families – including the decision to cap benefit increases to just 1% for the next three years, regardless how much prices rise – is likely to put still more pressure on families. In fact, the government thinks that just this one measure will push another 200,000 children into poverty.
Cuts to support with housing costs (particularly for families living in private rental housing) may mean that families increasingly finding themselves squeezed into the most deprived areas, unable to find housing which they can afford elsewhere.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that rather than child poverty ending, it will rise by several hundred thousand by the end of the decade.
Reversing the trend
To reverse this trend, the government urgently needs to change course to ensure that no child faces a childhood blighted by poverty.
Local authorities will increasingly find themselves having to make tough decisions as the localisation of support puts them at the front line of welfare reform. They will have to make decisions about who gets help with council tax bills or emergency support.
It is crucial that the impact on child poverty is kept front and centre of every decision that every local authority makes.
You can use End Child Poverty's interactive map to find the rate of child poverty in your area. To do so, simply click on your area to reveal a pop-up window that contains information about your local authority.
Proportion of children estimated to be in poverty in 2012
- Up to 7%