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Child poverty in East End worst in country

PUBLISHED: 09:51 16 March 2011 | UPDATED: 12:33 16 March 2011

Child poverty figures in Tower Hamlets are high

Child poverty figures in Tower Hamlets are high

Archant

Tower Hamlets has the highest proportion of child poverty in the UK and the situation may get worse with the recession, a charity is warning.

Almost 60 per cent of children in the East End are living in poverty, data released today by the Campaign to End Child Poverty showed.

Bethnal Green and Bow recorded 57 per cent deprivation and Poplar and Limehouse 55 per cent, folowed by Manchester Central which had 52 per cent living in poverty.

There have been improvements in recent years, however.

Tower Hamlets achieved the largest reduction in child poverty in the country between 2007 and 2008, with a drop from 63 per cent to 57 per cent, the government’s latest statistics.

The Campaign To End Child Poverty is now calling on the government to clearly lay out in next week’s Budget how it will provide more jobs and support so needy families are not “hung out to dry”.

Alison Garnham, executive director for the End Child Poverty coalition, said: “We need to protect jobs and work incentives for the good of both the economy and Britain’s families.

“Child poverty costs us billions picking up the pieces of damaged lives and unrealised potential.”

Cuts to tax credits, child benefit and childcare support will only make matters worse, she added.

Tower Hamlets, which relies heavily on public sector jobs, has been hit harder by the cuts than other boroughs.

The council is shaving £56 million off the budget this year and losing more than 500 jobs.

Barts and the London NHS trust also announced earlier this year it is cutting more than 600 jobs and NHS Tower Hamlets is downsizing too.

Tower Hamlets council said it has made strides in recent years, though.

There has been a 42 per cent drop in teenage pregnancy in the last decade and there is currently the lowest ever proportion of young people not in education, employment or training, down to 5 per cent.

See this week’s Advertiser for a detailed report into child poverty.

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