Embargoed until: 0001 hrs 24 January 2018
MORE THAN HALF OF CHILDREN NOW LIVING IN POVERTY IN SOME PARTS OF THE UK
The End Child Poverty coalition has today published figures providing a new Child Poverty map of the UK. The new figures reveal that there are now constituencies within the UK where more than half of children are growing up in poverty – compared to one in ten, in the areas with the lowest child poverty rates.
The figures also show that some of the most deprived areas of the UK have seen the biggest increases in child poverty since the coalition’s last local child poverty figures for December 2015. Increases of 10 percentage points1 in some areas demonstrate the growing crisis of child poverty in the UK.
As price rises risk pushing ever larger numbers of children below the poverty line, the coalition is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children’s benefits – currently in place until the end of the decade – so that families no longer see living standards squeezed as prices rise.
The local child poverty estimates are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward. Child poverty is the highest in large cities, particularly in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Among the twenty parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of childhood poverty, seven are located in London, three in Birmingham, and three in Manchester.
Since the introduction of the benefit freeze, the coalition of charities, faith groups and unions has warned that as prices rise, low income families would find it increasingly hard to pay for the same basic essentials.
‘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, Chair of End Child Poverty and Director of Policy and Research at the Children’s Society. ‘There can be little doubt that the Government’s policy of maintaining the benefits freeze despite rising prices is a major contributor to the emerging child poverty crisis.’
The coalition is also concerned that the impact of poverty may be exacerbated by a poverty premium – which means that low income families can face paying as much as £1700 per year more than better off families, to buy the same essential goods and services. A major contributor to this is the high cost of credit for low income families, and the coalition wants to see the Government address this by providing better access to interest free credit.
Sam Royston said ‘No family in modern Britain should be struggling to put food on the table, heat their homes and clothe their children. End Child Poverty is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children’s benefits, and to invest in interest free credit for low income families, to ensure that poverty doesn’t result in spiralling debt.’
Table 1 Top 25 parliamentary constituencies with highest levels of child poverty across the UK
|Constituency||% of children in poverty 2017
(after housing costs)
|1. Bethnal Green and Bow||54.18%|
|2. Birmingham, Ladywood||53.06%|
|3. Poplar and Limehouse||52.75%|
|4. Birmingham, Hodge Hill||51.46%|
|5. Manchester, Gorton||47.97%|
|6. Birmingham, Hall Green||47.82%|
|7. Manchester Central||47.52%|
|8. Bradford West||47.26%|
|9. Bradford East||46.73%|
|10. Oldham West and Royton||45.58%|
|12. Glasgow Central||45.06%|
|13. Blackley and Broughton||44.66%|
|14. Leicester South||44.58%|
|15. Westminster North||44.41%|
|16. Newcastle upon Tyne Central||44.30%|
|17. East Ham||43.99%|
|18. Holborn and St Pancras||43.89%|
|19. Leeds Central||43.57%|
|20. Hackney South and Shoreditch||43.29%|
|21. Birmingham, Perry Barr||43.18%|
|24. Walsall South||42.56%|
|25. West Ham||42.37%|
Table 2 Top 25 local authorities with highest levels of child poverty across the UK
|Local authority||% of children in poverty 2017
(after housing costs)
|1. Tower Hamlets||53.40%|
|12. Blackburn with Darwen||39.55%|
|16. Barking and Dagenham||37.80%|
|24. Newcastle upon Tyne||36.03%|
|25. Waltham Forest||35.90%|
The parliamentary constituencies with the lowest levels of child poverty are West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Gordon, North East Hampshire and Sheffield Hallam, with figures between 9 and 11 per cent. The constituency of Theresa May (Maidenhead) is among the 25 with the lowest child poverty.
14 of the 20 constituencies with the fastest growing child poverty also have poverty rates in the top 20
|Rank by change||Constituency||% child poverty Sept 2017||Up from (dec 2015)||% point increase||Rank in child poverty rate Sept 2017|
|1||Bethnal Green and Bow||54%||43%||11%||1|
|2||Oldham West and Royton||46%||35%||10%||10|
|4||Poplar and Limehouse||53%||44%||9%||3|
|8||Birmingham, Hodge Hill||51%||44%||4|
|9||Birmingham, Perry Barr||43%||35%||8%||21|
|11||Birmingham, Hall Green||48%||40%||7%||6|
|15||Newcastle upon Tyne Central||44%||38%||6%||16|
|16||Holborn and St Pancras||44%||38%||6%||18|
The research was carried out on behalf of End Child Poverty by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, led by Professor Donald Hirsch.
Notes to editors:
(1) Percentage point increases. It is important to refer to the increases as percentage point increases, not as percentage increases. For example: 50 children in poverty out of 100 is a rate of 50% child poverty. If, the following year, there are 10 more children in poverty (a 20% increase), that means there are now 60 children in poverty. A rate of 60% up from 50%: a 10 percentage point increase.
(2) In October 2016, the Office of Budget Responsibility confirmed that, on average, people will be worse off under Universal Credit than under tax credits (page 26) http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/docs/dlm_uploads/Welfare-Trends-Report.pdf. This follows controversial cuts to the work allowance (how much people can earn before Universal Credit entitlement starts to be tapered off) in the 2015 Summer Budget.
(3) In January 2017 End Child Poverty published a report, http://localhost:8888/endchildpoverty/feeling-the-pinch-report/, which examined the squeeze on low income households of the benefit freeze and rising prices and poverty premium paid by low income families for basic goods and services. ECP estimated that lower income families can pay up to £1700 more per year than a higher income family for similar essential goods.
(4) The national report is attached with the email distribution of this release and can be obtained on request under embargo from the campaign (see contact details below) and will be published on the campaign’s website on 24 January 2018.
(5) The figures presented here are estimates of child poverty in different areas, calculated using HMRC data and the Labour Force Survey. These estimates aren’t directly comparable with the HBAI figure of 3.9 million children in poverty in the UK, due to different methodologies and rounding. An explanatory note of how these estimates are produced is available http://localhost:8888/endchildpoverty/poverty-in-your-area-2018/
(6) Ward level data sheets for UK regions can be provided on request during the embargo period (please see regional contact details below). The local data has been produced to correspond as closely as possible to the measure of low income used by the government in its regional and national data. However, direct comparisons between the two data sets should not be made (a full explanation of the methodology can be found on our website at http://localhost:8888/endchildpoverty/poverty-in-your-area-2018/).
(7) A child is said to live in poverty if they are in a family living on less than 60% of median household income. According to the latest official statistics 60% of median income (after housing costs) was around £248 per week.
To find the relevant poverty line for a particular household type, this then needs to be adjusted to take account of household size. For a couple with two children under 14 this means multiplying by 1.4 – giving a poverty line of £347 per week.
(8) Children’s benefits include: child benefit, child tax credit and the child element of Universal Credit
(9) Sam Royston, Chair of the End Child Poverty Campaign will be available for comment in national media. 07969 291251 There will also be regional spokespeople available – for details see the contacts section at the end of the notes.
(10) The End Child Poverty coalition (www.endchildpoverty.org.uk) is made up of nearly 100 organisations from civic society including children’s charities, child welfare organisations, social justice groups, faith groups, trade unions and others, united in our vision of a UK free of child poverty.
UK national media only
End Child Poverty contact:
020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302
Regional media requests: please use the table below to find the right End Child Poverty contact for requests for regional data and for regional spokespeople.
|London||CPAGfirstname.lastname@example.org||020 7812 5216|
|South East||NCB||RNewson@ncb.org.uk||020 7843 6047|
|South West||Oxfam||STramonti@oxfam.org.uk||07825 780651|
|East Midlands||Turn2Us||Una.Farrell@turn2us.org.uk||020 8834 9259|
|West Midlands||Turn2Us||Una.Farrell@turn2us.org.uk||020 8834 9259|
|North East||Oxfam||STramonti@oxfam.org.uk||07825 780651|
|North West||Oxfam||STramonti@oxfam.org.uk||07825 780651|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||Oxfam||STramonti@oxfam.org.uk||07825 780651|
|Wales||Children in Walesemail@example.com||029 2034 2434|
|Scotland||CPAG in Scotlandfirstname.lastname@example.org||07795 340618|
|Northern Ireland||Save the Children||C.Heaney@savethechildren.org.uk||028 904 32823|