More than half of children now living in poverty in some parts of the UK//Crimson Tazvinzwa
14.2 million people in the UK population are in poverty. That includes 4.5 million children, 8.4 million working-age adults, and 1.4 million pension-age adults. 7.7 million people live in persistent poverty. Almost half (6.9 million) of those trapped in poverty are living in families with a person with disabilities.
It’s just not right that so many working families are being pulled into poverty. How is Universal Credit a chance to release families from the grip of poverty? There is an increasingly desperate need to create an anti-poverty childcare system, special educational needs, and poverty and children’s relationships.
A new report issued by Buttle UK, “The Real Face of Child Poverty in the UK in 2017,” paints a picture of the desperate financial plight of many families. Buttle UK is a charity that disburses grants to needy children. Its chief executive, Gerri McAndrew, said, “While this is not a state of emergency, it is beginning to look like one. Urgent action needs to be taken.”
“Free School Meals provide an essential lifeline to students who might not otherwise be able to afford a decent, hot meal. If we are to protect children from harm we need to work together with schools, meal providers and local authorities to right this wrong – there is a quick fix as this campaign highlights.
“However, more and more families are trapped in poverty because of low pay, the rising cost of living and an ineffective social security system. The Government now has a responsibility to take bold action, beyond the school gates, to loosen the grip of poverty.“
Among its key findings, the report noted the changing profile of the families it helps. While noting that the number of people in work is at an all-time high, “there has been a big shift in those classed as experiencing ‘in-work poverty,’ a rise of 1.1 million people since 2010/11. As a result two thirds of those children classified as poor are so despite the fact that at least one of their parents is in work.
Students are going hungry in school because they are losing out on money allocated to them in the Free School Meals programme. They face a double injustice: not only are they being treated differently to other students, but their ability to learn is restricted because they are going hungry. This cannot be right.