Child poverty hits highest level in decade

The number of children living in relative poverty has risen for the third year running, taking it to its highest level in a decade, government figures show. Household income data for 2016/17 shows that there are now an estimated 4.1 million children in the UK who live in relative poverty after housing costs are accounted for – up from four million the year before. This is the joint highest figure since 2007/08 when 4.1 million children lived in relative poverty. There are now 500,000 more children in relative poverty than in 2010/11, when the figure stood at 3.6 million – the lowest since records began in 1994/95. The proportion of children living in relative poverty, however, remained unchanged from last year at 30 per cent. Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society, described the figures as “shocking”. “These figures show the toll that systematic cuts to welfare, including the freeze on children’s benefits, have taken on low-income families and the government must now urgently review this freeze,” he said. Read more.

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