New figures reveal alarming rise in numbers of children in poverty

01 July 2014

In response to the Household Below Average Income (HBAI) figures released today, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'Today’s child poverty figures show that the government’s current strategy to end child poverty by 2020 simply isn’t working, with an alarming 100,000 more children in relative poverty after housing costs – taking the total to 3.7 million children in 2013. 

'Many of the poorest families are facing a real fall in living standards – with figures revealing 200,000 more children in absolute poverty after housing costs than in 2012. This is completely unacceptable. In the face of the high cost of food, fuel and other essentials, families across the country are struggling to provide their children with the basics. 

'Projections show that this trend is only set to increase, with many hundreds of thousands more children predicted to be in poverty by 2020.

'The government needs to do much more to help those who are struggling against the brutal effects of welfare cuts, stagnant wages and rising food and fuel prices if it is to stop the continuing crisis of child poverty.'

Ends

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For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors:

  • See the government’s Household Below Average Income figures in full: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-199495-to-201213
  • Children are said to be living in relative poverty if they are in a family living on less than 60% of median income.
  • Children are said to be living in absolute poverty if they are in a family living on less than what was 60% of median income in 2010/11, then adjusted for inflation to the present day.
  • Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-199495-to-201213
  • By 2020, an estimated three quarters of a million more children will be living in poverty than today according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies: http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r78.pdf
  • The Children’s Society is supporting the first-ever Children’s Commission on Poverty (http://www.childrenscommission.org.uk/inquiry). The commissioners want the government to draw on children’s actual experience – and not just the statistics -- when developing measures to tackle child poverty. The Children’s Commission on Poverty is being supported by The Children’s Society and led by a panel of 16 children and teenagers from across England, ranging in age from 12 to 19. They are leading an 18-month investigation into child poverty in the UK. It provides a crucial platform for children to speak out about what poverty is really like and reveal, through their own eyes, the day-to-day challenges they face and what needs to be done.
  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life. Someone who acts on their behalf and can help guide them through the extremely complex system. These children deserve to be kept safe so they can recover from the trauma they have suffered and rebuild their lives.