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Data unveils high level of child poverty in borough; Charnwood has 23.9 per cent of children trapped in poverty.

Byline: DAVID GODSALL david.godsall@reachplc.com

FIGURES revealing the percentage of children trapped in poverty in Charnwood and North West Leicestershire have been revealed.

The data, published by the End Child Poverty coalition, with the research carried out by Loughborough University, highlights how worrying levels of child poverty vary across Britain and shows that poverty is on the rise - and rising fastest in places where it is already highest.

The UK's leading child poverty coalition is calling for the major Parties to outline ambitious child poverty-reduction strategies as new data shows that child poverty is becoming the norm in some parts of the East Midlands, with more than 40 per cent of children living trapped in poverty in some constituencies.

Locally, Charnwood had 23.9 per cent of children trapped in poverty, with North West Leicestershire at 23.8 per cent and Leicester at 41.3 per cent.

The data, published by the End Child Poverty coalition, highlights how worrying levels of child poverty vary across Britain and shows that poverty is on the rise - and rising fastest in places where it is already highest.

The figures, calculated by Loughborough's Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP), show that 500,000 more children are having their lives limited by poverty today than at the start of the decade.

CRSP director Professor Donald Hirsch said: "Child poverty has been rising sharply in the present decade, reversing the reductions made in the 2000s.

"The Centre for Research in Social Policy has drawn attention to the serious impact this is having on local communities.

"It has produced the most authoritative estimates to date of how many children are in poverty in local wards, local authorities and parliamentary constituencies.

"In some of the worst-hit parts of the country, child poverty has been rising especially fast."

Anna Feuchtwang, chair 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 realterms 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, with serious consequences for their life chances.

"Policymakers can no longer deny the depth of the problem or abandon entire areas to rising poverty. The Government must respond with a credible child poverty-reduction strategy."

End Child Poverty is calling for Government to set out an ambitious and credible child poverty-reduction strategy, including restoring the link between benefits and inflation, and then making up for the loss in the real value in children's benefits as a result of the 4-year freeze and previous sub-inflation increases in benefit rates. And it calls for the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credits and universal credit-and reforming Universal Credit to end, as well as reversing the cuts and investing in children's services such as mental health, education, childcare and social care.

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Publication:Loughborough Echo (Loughborough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 29, 2019
Words:529
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