Child poverty in Broxtowe may become worse after pandemic ends

Child poverty rose in Broxtowe just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, sparking fears it may only be worse when it ends.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 10:39 am
The figures rose in Broxtowe just before the pandemic hit.

Department for Work and Pensions data shows 2,617 children aged under 16 were living in families with low incomes across Broxtowe in 2019-20 – an estimated 13.4 per cent of all youngsters in the area.

That was up from 12.7 per cent the year before.

A family is defined as in low income if it earns less than 60 per cent of the national median household income before housing costs are considered.

Families are included in the figures if they have claimed child benefit alongside another means of support, such as Universal Credit, tax credits or housing benefit, at some point in the year.

Of the children in poverty in Broxtowe last year, 743 (28 per cent) were below school age.

The majority of children (67 per cent) were in working households, while 43 per cent were in lone-parent families.

They were among 158,500 under-16s in poverty across the East Midlands as a whole last year.

Different figures show that across the UK, a record 3.2 million children were living in relative poverty in 2019-20 – with the figure rising to 4.3 million after housing costs were taken into account.

With child poverty hitting these "devastatingly high" levels, charities are urging the Government to take action to prevent more families from falling into hardship when the crisis ends.

Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at charity Action for Children, said: "The Government is in denial over child poverty which continues to rise and threatens to torpedo its flagship plans for levelling up.

"Experts have warned that child poverty will rise even further after the pandemic, with working families facing a double threat this coming winter to their living standards as unemployment peaks and Universal Credit is cut. Three-quarters of children in poverty live in working families."

Mr Hussain said families with children have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

He added: "It’s vital the Government brings forward a credible plan to reduce poverty. It can start by making permanent the vital uplift in Universal Credit.”