The Households Below Average Income figures for 2016/7 released by the Government today show that children living in the most vulnerable households are facing the highest rises in poverty.
Overall relative child poverty has continued to rise – from 3.6m in 2010 to 4.1m. But it is large families, families with a disabled child and lone parent families that have seen a disproportionately large increase in relative poverty.
These are groups that are already most at risk of poverty and the increases are of grave concern: lone parents (up from 41% in 2010/11 to 49% in 2016/17); larger families with 3+ children (35% to 42%); and households with disabled children (28% to 34%).
This bears out last week’s gloomy report by The Equality and Human Rights Commission that predicts an additional 1.5m children in poverty by 2022 as a consequence of tax and welfare reforms and that it is the most vulnerable who will be hit the hardest. Their projections show an increase in child poverty to 41% by 2021/22, and to 52% among children in larger families.
In the last year, child poverty increased most among children from Pakistani (50% to 54%) and Bangladeshi (57% to 60%) families, which is consistent with the widening in race disparities predicted in the EHRC report.
The End Child Poverty coalition is calling for an end to the freeze in child benefits and for the lifting of the two child limit.
Sam Royston, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said: “Today’s figures show that the Government’s reforms are failing to reverse the rise in child poverty. We are very concerned that it is children growing up in the most vulnerable households that are being hit the hardest. And we call on the Government to end the freeze in children’s benefits and lift the two child limit in tax credits and Universal Credit. If these policies aren’t reversed we are denying these children an equal opportunity to succeed at school, in later life and to enjoy a happy and healthy childhood.”
- The Household Below Average Income figures for the period to 2016/17 are released today, 22 March 2018. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-199495-to-201617
- 4.1 million children are now living in relative poverty in the UK (after housing costs are taken into account).
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission report on the impact of tax and welfare reforms on child poverty can be found https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/effect-tax-and-welfare-reforms
- The Campaign to End Child Poverty (www.endchildpoverty.org.uk) is made up of more than 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. These include the Nationla Children's Bureau, Child Poverty Action Group, The Children’s Society, Family Action, Buttle UK, Barnardo’s, 4Children, Contact a Family, Gingerbread, Oxfam, Action for Children, TUC, Family and Childcare Trust and Save the Children. End Child Poverty campaigns to achieve our vision by: Ensuring the voices of families facing economic disadvantage are heard; Increasing understanding of the causes and impacts of child poverty and mobilising public support and action; Promoting to politicians and government the case for ending child poverty by 2020, the actions that will achieve it and holding them to account on the requirements of the Child Poverty Act.
- You can get in touch with the End Child Poverty coalition by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07918 567577.