Eyewatering data released this week by the End Child Poverty Coalition is yet more evidence of how a decade of cuts and austerity has left our children living in poverty.
The report reveals that over 50% of children in Tottenham (and over 42% in Haringey) are living in poverty, with their families receiving below 60% of the median UK income. In London, the Child Poverty rate is 39%. Across the UK, London is hit the hardest due to the high cost of housing.
The impact of poverty on children is well documented. Children from low income families more likely to experience worse physical and mental health, do less well in school, and have fewer opportunities in the future.
“We need to be mindful that the reality is a lot worse today, as this report is based on data published by the Department of Work and Pensions in March 2020, before the COVID pandemic took full hold.
The numbers of people in Haringey claiming Universal Credit has doubled since March 2020, and 45% of Tottenham’s working age population is either not working or on the furlough scheme. The schemes and support coming from Government are far too weak for the scale of the problem.
There is either an incompetent denial or wilful ideological intent from this Tory led government to cause this much damage to children in our community”
– Cllr Seema Chandwani
This Government can intervene, so we are calling on them to:
- Retain the £20 uplift in Universal Credit introduced at the start of the pandemic, which the Government has indicated will end in April 2021;
- End the benefit cap and the two-child limit on benefits;
- Invest in all children with an increase to child benefit;
- Extend Free School Meals to all families in receipt of Universal Credit and those with No Recourse to Public Funds