Number of children living in poverty across the UK hits record high

The latest figures have caused outrage and condemnation among child poverty charities.


The number of children living in poverty across the UK has hit a record high, figures released today show, highlighting how disastrous this Tory government has been for low-income families up and down the country.

Some 4.3 million children are now growing up in poverty in the UK, according to data released by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The UK has experienced the largest increase in relative child poverty between 2014 and 2021 of any advanced economy, according to estimates by Unicef.

The latest figures have caused outrage and condemnation among child poverty charities.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), said: “In a general election year, nothing should be more important to our political leaders than making things better for the country’s poorest kids.

“But child poverty has reached a record high, with 4.3 million kids now facing cold homes and empty tummies.”

Lynn Perry MBE, CEO of Barnardo’s, said: “The new statistics published today show that the Government has let down children and child poverty is on the rise again. The figures show 4.3 million children are growing up in poverty. This number represents an increase of more than 100,000 children – around the population of Eastbourne.

“Children can’t be happy and healthy if they are going to bed in a cold home, on an empty stomach. Living in poverty means children miss out on opportunities and the activities that make childhood fun and support their development.

“It’s getting harder for young people growing up in the UK. The Government needs to urgently focus on reducing child poverty. That should start with a strategy for ending child poverty, including ending the two-child limit ‘sibling penalty’ on benefit payments and ensuring struggling families can afford essentials like food and household bills.” 

Meghan Meek-O’Connor, senior child poverty policy adviser at Save the Children UK, said: “Today 4.3 million children are being failed. It is an outrage that 100,000 more children are in poverty – they are being forgotten.

“These shocking figures should be an urgent wake up call to all of us, especially the UK Government: we cannot go on like this. There is no reason children should be going without food, heating, toys, or beds.”

Campaigners have called for an end to the two-child cap on benefits, which would immediately lift 250,000 children out of poverty.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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