Child poverty: One million under-10s ‘face desperate Christmas’

One million children aged 10 and under are set to miss out on basics such as warm clothing and fresh food over the coming month and face a “Dickensian” Christmas, a charity has warned. Analysis by Action for Children of Department for Work and Pensions data for 2014/15 to 2016/17 on family income, including material deprivation, which measures access to basic items, found there are one million children under the age of 10 living in families with a household income below 70 per cent of the average income. The charity also found that there are 300,000 children aged 10 and younger who live in a household with severe low income and material deprivation. These households are defined as having both a low material deprivation score and a household income of less than half of the average income. In addition, the charity has carried out a survey of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas. The survey found that half of parents are cutting back on spending on presents, Christmas dinner and decorations during the festive period. A quarter (25 per cent) said they are getting into debt to pay for Christmas. Read more.