28/05/2014

Five Million Children Could Be In Poverty By 2020

A record five million children in the UK could be trapped in poverty by 2020, according to new research by Save the Children.

The new report, A Fair Start for Every Child, reveals that children have paid the highest price in the recession, with families having been hit by a triple whammy of years of flat wages, cuts to benefits and the rising cost of living. They have been squeezed by food prices rising by 19% more than the general price level of other goods between 2007 and 2011. Childcare costs have also soared with a nursery place for a child under two rising by 77% between 2003 and 2013.

Despite a cross party commitment to end child poverty by 2020, new projections show that the numbers living in poverty could increase by 1.4 million in the same period, a rise of 41% on the 3.5 million children currently living in poverty.

Justin Forsyth, Save the Children's CEO said: "We're increasingly worried that unless there is a dramatic change of course we're at risk of writing off the future of millions of British children, giving them an unfair start in life.

"This isn't just a question of statistics; we see families through our programmes around the UK who are really struggling. Millions of children in the UK are being left behind - sentenced to a lifetime of poverty. Far too many of our children are living in cold and damp homes, without healthy food, with parents who can see no end to their situation. If we ignore the rising toll of poverty we are blighting the future of a further 1.4million children. In one of the world's richest countries there is simply no excuse."

Save the Children's new estimate is based on work by Landman Economics adding projected future social security cuts, as committed to by all three major parties, to existing Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates.

(CVS/CD)

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