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Call for child poverty rethink.

Byline: IAN BUNTING

The UK's leading child poverty coalition is calling for the major political parties to outline ambitious child povertyreduction strategies which would benefit the people of Monklands.

The call comes as new data, revealed by the Child Poverty Coalition, shows that, in some areas in Britain, 50 per cent of children are growing up in poverty.

Researchers from Loughborough University estimated the numbers of children locked in poverty in each constituency, ward and local authority area across the UK, showing that child poverty is rising rapidly in areas that already have a high number of deprived households.

Anna Feuchtwang, chairwoman of the End Child Poverty coalition, said: "We know what causes child poverty and we know how to end it.

"We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real-terms cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs.

"And we know that work alone does not guarantee a route out of poverty, with two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families.

"Yet in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception, it's the rule, with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years. Policy makers can no longer deny the depth of the problem or abandon entire areas to rising poverty.

"Growing up in poverty means growing up trapped. It restricts a child's chances of doing well at school, of living a healthy and happy life, and of finding well paid work as adults. We urgently need the government to set a course of action that will free our children from the grip of poverty."

End Child Poverty is calling for the government to set out an ambitious and credible child poverty-reduction strategy, including: *Restoring the link between benefits (including housing support) and inflation, and then making up for the loss in the real value in children's benefits as a result of the four-year freeze and previous sub-inflation increases in benefit rates.

*Ending the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credits and universal credit and reforming universal credit.

*Reversing the cuts and investing in children's services such as mental health, education, child care and social care.

A UK Government spokeswoman said: "This study is based on estimates rather than actual measurements of income.

"Children growing up in working households are five times less likely to be in relative poverty, which is why we are supporting families to improve their lives through work."

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Publication:Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser (Lanarkshire, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 29, 2019
Words:408
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