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Report shows child poverty ‘hot spots’
NEARLY a quarter of children in some York neighbourhoods are living in poverty but the city is doing better than most, a landmark new report has revealed.
Almost one in nine children in York (11 per cent) are in poverty, according to the Campaign To End Child Poverty.
But the figure is 24 per cent in the Hull Road area, 23 per cent in Westfield and Clifton and 21 per cent in Guildhall.
York’s overall figure is well below the national average of 20.2 per cent.
The campaign group, a coalition of more than 150 charities, social justice groups and unions, said there were “gross levels of inequality that children face in every region”.
Outside York, the figures were ten per cent in Selby, eight per cent in Ryedale, 19 per cent in Scarborough, 11 per cent in the East Riding, seven per cent in Hambleton and six per cent in Harrogate. In York Outer the figure was five per cent and in York Central it was 17 per cent.
The campaign predicted that, as benefits started to fall in real terms later this year, the proportion of children in poverty would increase significantly.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts a growth in child poverty of 400,000 between 2011 and 2015, and a total of 800,000 by 2020.
Enver Solomon, chair of the Campaign To End Child Poverty, said: “There are still far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living and are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.
“In Yorkshire and the Humber, the huge disparities that exist across the region are becoming more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long term poverty and disadvantage. Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make.
“We’re calling on authorities to prioritise low-income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the 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.’’
The local authorities with the highest levels of child poverty in 2012 were Tower Hamlets in London at 42 per cent, Manchester with 38 per cent and Middlesbrough with 37 per cent.