At least one in six children in Britain lives in relative poverty, new figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have revealed.
In 2011-12, 2.3 million or 17 percent of UK children were recorded as “living in homes with substantially lower than average income”. The figure rises to 3.5 million or 27 percent when housing costs are deducted from incomes.
But children’s campaigners say the figure is much higher and that 300,000 more children live in poverty compared to previous year.
Leading British charity against global poverty Oxfam also said the figures were unacceptable and urged British ministers to stop squeezing the purses and wallets of the poorest.
“It is unacceptable that in the seventh richest country on the planet, we’ve seen the number of people living in poverty increase by nearly a million. With cuts to public services and social security in the pipeline, the number of people living on absolute low incomes will only increase over the years,” said Oxfam’s research and policy officer Katherine Trebeck.
Chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham also said low income families have been hurt the hardest, adding that “Today’s poverty figures expose comprehensively the myth that the main cause of poverty is people choosing not to work”.
Earlier in February, End Child Poverty coalition said the British government’s benefit cuts will push hundreds of thousands of children into poverty in the next few years.
The coalition representing more than 150 charities, welfare organizations, unions and social justice groups, said benefit cuts would harm more children unless urgent decisions to protect the poorest families are made.
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