News ID : 173755
Publish Date : 5/18/2024 7:46:56 PM
Kids in poverty: Britain's shame

Kids in poverty: Britain's shame

In the UK there are currently over four million children living in poverty, the highest number in twenty years. One million are described as being in extreme poverty or destitution, unable to stay fed, clean, dry and warm.

Currently nearly all state primary school children in London, and those in Scotland and Wales get offered the dinners, but it is only children in school up to the age of seven in the rest of England.  They are not universally available in Northern Ireland. 

The Child Poverty Action Group said while society might have changed a lot in sixty years, sadly children’s experiences of poverty are similar.

The cost of food has risen 25% in the past two years, and in the parts of England where free school meals are not universally available, if working families on Universal Credit earn more than seven thousand four hundred pounds, their children are not eligible for free school meals. Many schools say it has left them having to pick up the pieces.

Will Baker from Bristol University carried out a study and found schools are now the biggest source of charitable food and household aid for families.

“About 20% of all primary schools and secondary schools now run a food bank that equates to over 4000 school based food banks. But they're disproportionately located in disadvantaged areas and schools with low income populations. We find child poverty and food insecurity all across the UK and all across England. So it really is a national crisis.”- Will Baker, Bristol University.

Charities argue the two child cap is also one of the biggest policy drivers of child poverty for families - affecting nearly two million children. This is where households cannot claim universal or child tax credit for a third or subsequent child born after April 2017.

It is estimated this financial year, the government will save £2.5 billion from this benefit cap. But, a recent study examined the ‘two child limit’ and found it did not incentivise parents to have fewer children.
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