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300,000 children in severe poverty in London

PUBLISHED: 12:33 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:31 05 October 2010

A THIRD of-a-million children in London are living in severe poverty, according to shock statistics released today. They go without daily basic essentials including meals and warm clothes, research from Save the Children has found

By Mike Brooke

A THIRD of-a-million children in London are living in severe poverty, according to shock statistics released today.

They go without daily basic essentials including meals and warm clothes, research from Save the Children has found.

Child poverty dramatically increased even before the recession, now reaching 300,000 in London alone, a fifth of all children in severe poverty in the UK totalling 1.7 million, the charity claims.

Efforts to reduce poverty have not only stalled, but have slid into reverse, it says.

“We’re talking about children going without a winter coat, a bed and other day-to-day essentials,” said Fergus Drake, Save the Children’s director of UK programmes.

“It’s shocking that at a time when the country was experiencing unprecedented wealth the number of children living in severe poverty actually went up.

“There is a danger that severe child poverty will increase even further, with unemployment expected to rise.”

Children from Bangladeshi, Pakistani and black African families are three times more likely to be in severe poverty than white families, according to the research, but white British’ still make up the majority, around 70 per cent.

Half the children in severe poverty had single parents, the same number in families claiming job seekers allowance.

The recession is likely to have increased severe poverty by a further 100,000 children up and down the country, but rises in tax credits and benefits are expected to have brought the numbers back down to pre-recession figures.

Save the Children is calling for Government support to cover all childcare costs for parents on working tax credit, especially lone parents.


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