A report [pdf] released by child poverty action group Buttle UK on the 4 August warns that more children are “living in poverty than at any time in the past 10 years”. An estimated 3.9 million [pdf] children now live “below the breadline” and the situation is close to a “state of emergency”, says the charity.
This should be headline news. Many families in modern Britain are in crisis, and can’t afford the basics of food, clothing and housing. But more media coverage was given to Theresa May’s discount card for a high-end store where most shoes cost over £200, according to the company’s own website.
Theresa May ‘promised’ to increase support for ‘ordinary working families’. But, one of the most worrying findings [pdf] of the report is that the biggest rise in poverty is amongst families with at least one working parent:
…as many as two thirds of children classed as living in poverty have at least one parent working. This is hugely significant; it has major social, political as well as economic implications. Put bluntly, it suggests that the opportunity of employment alone is not necessarily the way out of poverty.
The impacts of benefit freezes, alongside rising costs of living, are devastating for children. The most disadvantaged families are in a hopeless situation. Families are reeling from the rollout of Universal Credit and reliance on food banks is rising. The Buttle report points out [pdf p7]:
With their limited incomes under increasing pressure they are being forced to make impossible choices for their children – between meals, warm clothes and heating their homes.
It’s unlikely that Theresa May (with a daily income of more than £400) needs the shoe discount anyway. But, the fact that the mainstream media wrote more about her shoes than this significant report is shocking. If the Tory government continues with its callous economic programme, it’s likely that child poverty in the UK will become a national emergency very soon.
We need to act before this happens.
– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
– Donate to support the work done by Buttle UK.
– Write to your MP to challenge child poverty.
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