UK CHILD POVERTY - THE FACTS
No heating, no birthdays, no hope..
IT is the bleak and disturbing underbelly of
Britain, a level of poverty that disgraces the fourth richest nation on earth.
New figures show that at least 3.4 million
children in the UK are blighted by destitution, their parents too poor to feed,
clothe or shelter them properly.
Even the government now admits that it is
likely to miss its much-vaunted pledge to alleviate child poverty,
But a recently formed confederation of 50
charities, churches and unions - the End Child Poverty Campaign - says the
problem is much, much worse.
The government calculates poverty as a
family of four surviving on an income of £210 from which living costs need to be
But the ECPC says that figure misses by a
mile and it calculates that any couple with two young children and an income of
£295 - after housing costs are paid - falls into the poverty trap.
Work and Pension Secretary John Hutton
admits the government has to "renew its efforts" to tackle the problem and will
announce he is reviewing the child-poverty strategy.
But the campaigners say any action needs to
be backed with money - and lots of it.
They are demanding an extra £4billion to go
into benefits and the minimum wage.
And they warn that unless there is a serious
assault on poverty, Tony Blair will not have kept the key New Labour pledge he
made when he came to power - to halve child poverty by 2010 and eradicate it by
The campaigners scoured government reports
and academic research to uncover the key facts about poverty in the UK.
Here is why they say dramatic action must be
ALMOST 10 per cent of single cannot afford
to buy more than one pair of shoes for their children.
THERE are currently 3.4 million children in
poverty, 27 per cent of all British children.
THE UK has the fourth highest level of child
poverty of all 25 European Union countries.
FOR the first time, children are more likely
to live in poverty than the elderly.
AROUND five per cent of all children live in
A SINGLE parent with two children aged 5 and
11 needs £205 a week to rise above the poverty line.
THE highest concentration of child poverty
is in London where 41 per cent of children live in poverty.
48 per cent of all single-parent households
live below the poverty line.
57 per cent of families with Pakistani and
Bangladeshi background are in poverty.
20 per cent oi all British.larnilies
receiving government tax credits are still the poverty line living below the
ONLY Italy, Portugal and the Slovak Republic
have worse levels of poverty than the UK.
BRITISH poverty rates are 50 per cent higher
than in France and more than twice as high as in the Scandinavian countries
400,000 children have inadequate diets.
THREE quarters of a million children go
without a warm waterproof coat or proper shoes in winter.
ONE million children are too poor to afford
to visit family, have birthday celebrations or attend weddings.
A BOY in born Manchester can expect to live
seven years less than a boy from Barnet, North London because of poverty-related
SIMILARLY, a girl born in Manchester can
expect to live six years less than a girl born in Chelsea.
BABIES from poor families are on average
4.5ozs lighter than those from rich families because of poor nutrition.
TWO adults with two children would have to
work 55 hours a week at the minimum wage to get above the poverty line.
TO be a living wage, the minimum wage would
need to rise to £7.05 per hour from £5.35 today.
PARENTS must spend an average of £25 a week
per child on everyday costs of going to school such as uniforms, trips and PE
TYPICAL cost of a full-time nursery place is
£142 making it impossible of many mothers to go back to work.
CHILDREN who are growing up in poverty are
more likely to leave school at 16.
CHILDREN from families of unskilled
labourers are 15 times more likely to die from a fire at home.
CHILDREN from poor backgrounds have on
average 1.8 decayed teeth by the age of five.
For children from professional families the
figure is 1.2.
23 per cent of single parent families cannot
afford school trips for their youngsters.
AROUND 52,000 families with children became
homeless in 2005.
INCREASING gas and electricity costs means
three million families are expected to be unable to heat their homes this year.
AROUND three million people use doorstep
moneylenders charging exorbitant interest rates to buy basics such as beds and
SINCE 1999 the government has taken 700,000
children out of poverty by benefits and minimum wage. Another 300,000 would have
to be taken out of poverty to meet its targets.
Percentage of children in poverty
Manchester Central 54%
Liverpool Riverside 50%
Poplar and Canning Town 49%
Glasgow North East 48%
Hackney South 47%
Islington South 47%
Bethnal Green and Bow 46%
Regents Park 45%
Birmingham, Ladywood 45%
Are YOU below poverty line?
WEEKLY income needed after housing costs
No heating, no birthdays, no hope..
Single person, 25 £110
Couple, 25, no kids £201
Single, 25, two children (5 and 11) £205
Couple, 30, two children (5 and 11) £295
East Midlands 26%
North East 32%
North West 29%
South East 21%
South West 25%
West Midlands 30%
Yorks and Humbs 29%