By Gerald Heneghan
Manchester has been named the worst parliamentary constituency for child poverty in the UK.
A new study from The Campaign to End Child Poverty released today (February 20th) found “gross levels of inequality” throughout the UK and called for action on the issue.
Child poverty levels were calculated by combining local tax credit data and regional trends in joblessness. Other regions topping the list include Belfast West, Glasgow North East and Birmingham Ladywood.
Enver Solomon, chair of the campaign group, warned that far too many children are missing out on the “essentials of a decent childhood”.
“The huge disparities that exist across the country have become more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long term poverty and disadvantage,” she explained.
Tower Hamlets was found to be the worst local authority for child poverty in Britain, shortly followed by Middlebrough, Derry and Belfast.
Ms Solomon called upon local authorities to put a priority on low-income families when making decisions about their welfare budget and protecting those affected by the so-called bedroom tax.
“The government must also closely examine its current strategy for reducing poverty and consider what more it could do to ensure millions of children’s lives are not blighted by the corrosive impact that poverty has on their daily existence,” she added.
Barnardo’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie claimed millions of children are having their chances in life compromised due to child poverty.
“The Government must act now to end child poverty by providing practical help to the people who need it most, taking steps to bring down energy bills, tackle family debt, and make childcare more affordable,” she said.