UK Economic Crisis: Why Has Child Poverty Increased in the UK?

The results of the latest published official statistics show that about one-third of children in the UK live in poverty. Statistics also reveal that about 350,000 more children were pushed into relative poverty last year after the government decided to stop the additional living allowance allocated during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the rampant increase in the cost of living. Despite these cases, it should be seen why child poverty has increased in the UK. Also, how many children are living in poverty in the UK?

High statistics on the relative poverty of British children

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced that 4.2 million children, equivalent to 29% of the population under 18, were in relative poverty in the year ending April 2022. Relative poverty is attributed to households with less than 60% of the average income after deducting housing costs. However, experts say UK child poverty figures are higher because the government grant stopped in October 2021, and the data covers the six months up to April.

How many children are living in poverty in the UK?

Statistics show that 45% of all poor children were in families whose youngest child was under five years old, while 71% lived in working families. More than 800,000 children live in families that depend on the food bank for their livelihood. According to published statistics, low-income families have fallen into severe poverty recently. Deep poverty is where each household lives with less than 50% of the average income after deducting housing costs. Statistics show that about 2.7 million children live in deep poverty, 500,000 more than in 2010/11.

More poverty for non-native children in the UK

Data from the DWP also shows that non-native children are likelier to be poor in the UK. 53% of children in black British, African or Caribbean families living in the UK were impoverished. Alison Garnham, the executive director of the Child Poverty Action Group, described the published statistics as shocking and bitter and stated that the government’s delay in addressing this problem is unjustified.

The challenge of providing a livelihood for British children

Many families living in the UK, known as the sixth largest economy in the world, are facing the challenge of providing for their children’s livelihood during the Easter school holidays due to their children being deprived of free meals. The days when students naturally count down to their arrival and have fun at home, in the UK, it is a different story; Because staying at home for many of them means being deprived of the free meals provided by the government for needy and qualified families.

Register children to receive free meals.

To explain these conditions, one must look to the history of this chronic crisis in the UK, when the results of the research conducted by Human Rights Campaigns in October 2020 showed an unprecedented increase in the number of students who signed up for school-free meals due to extreme poverty. At that time, research by the Food Foundation thinks tank in the UK indicated that for the first time within a month of the reopening of schools, about 900,000 students were added to the list of receiving free food quotas in the schools of this country. In this list of underprivileged children, the name of one million and 400 thousand students have been registered.

The action of the mayor of London to ensure the livelihood of students

In a move that shows the depth of the poverty crisis, the mayor of London announced that he had allocated three million and 500 thousand pounds of emergency funds to provide for students’ livelihood during the weekend and Easter holidays. According to the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, half of the capital’s residents are struggling financially. He hopes his economic package can provide 10 million meals so students do not go hungry during the Easter holidays.

Why has child poverty increased in the UK?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, explained the reasons for the spread of UK child poverty. The Mayor of London added: “That’s why I’m stepping in today with a major new emergency funding package that will provide around 10m free holiday meals to hundreds of thousands of Londoners most in need.” He asked the UK government to make more efforts to support needy families.

The UK government’s strict criteria for disadvantaged students

Currently, the UK government only helps children eligible for free school meals during the holidays, despite councils’ funding needing to be increased and the eligibility criteria for school free meals too narrow to ensure that all pupils in need are fed. According to reports, the UK government’s standards are so strict that half of the children from needy families in London are excluded because they are ineligible or have yet to apply for help to maintain their reputation.

The impact of UK child poverty on the science gap

The results of the latest studies conducted in the UK have revealed the impact of poverty on the academic gap and show that poor students are significantly behind their peers in terms of education. According to the British Education Policy Institute (EPI) findings, which took place in 2019, before the Corona pandemic, this gap is between 22 and 23 months in Wales and about 18 months in England.

Failure to improve UK child poverty

The mentioned gap has decreased slightly since 2011, but according to the studies, this progress has stopped. In Wales, the most significant poverty gap by area was between 25 and 28 months, and in England, around 25 months in the Blackpool area. This is while students who live in long-term and continuous poverty are behind their peers in both areas. In England, the academic gap equated to about 23 months of learning, while in Wales, it was 29 months. Over the past decade, this regard has remained the same.

The need for policymakers to reduce the scientific gap

The Education Policy Institute has recommended that policymakers do more to reduce the performance gap, particularly in Wales, where the situation worsens. This report was published while a charity organization for children in England revealed the depth of the UK child poverty and announced that the proportion of poor children in the North East of England had surpassed that of London and now two children out of every five children in this region. They grow up in poverty.

More poverty in the UK than in other European countries

A research foundation has reported that households in this country with average income are pitifully poorer than in other European countries. The report published by the Resolution Foundation states that the economic situation of British families is about £9,000 worse than that of families living in similar countries, including France, Germany and Australia. The study shows that the poorest households in the UK are in a worse situation, and their income is 40% lower than in the mentioned countries.

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