22 Mar 2018

Responding to today’s Households Below Average Income Statistics, The Children’s Society Chief Executive Matthew Reed said:

“Today’s shocking child poverty figures must spur the government into decisive action to help the 4.1 million children now living in poverty in the UK. Growing up in poverty can affect every aspect of a child’s life: their home, health, education, family relationships and even friendships.

“These figures show the toll that systematic cuts to welfare, including the freeze on children’s benefits, have taken on low-income families and the government must now urgently review this freeze.

“Children in poverty desperately need the government’s help, but already this year it has missed a huge opportunity to help those in working families. The new proposed means test for free school meals under universal credit will mean most children in poverty from working families still won’t have the guarantee of a decent meal each school day. We hope that the government will listen carefully to the serious concerns raised by the House of Lords and others and rethink these plans.”

HBAI figures from the government show:

  • 4.1 million children in poverty, an increase of 100,000 since last year
  • 67% of children in poverty are from working families
  • Compared to the overall population, children remain more likely to be in poverty: 30% of children are in poverty compared to 21% of working age adults and 16% of pensioners.”



Media enquiries

For more information, please call the media team on 020 7841 4520 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk.  For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.


Notes to editors