Child poverty rising in Northampton even before Covid with call for government to step in to fix national issue

'The figures speak for themselves – the situation for children couldn’t be starker'

Monday, 24th May 2021, 10:22 am

The percentage of children living in poverty in Northampton has increased over the past five years, according to new figures.

Around 29 percent of under-15s in the town, or 14,219 in total, were in low-income households in 2019/20, government statistics reveal.

Analysis by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition shows that percentage has increased by 2.1 percent from 2014/15 when the national average was two percent.

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Around 29 percent of children in Northampton were living in poverty in 2019/20, official figures show. Photo: Shutterstock

Group chair Anna Feuchtwang said of the national statistics: “The figures speak for themselves – the situation for children couldn’t be starker.

"We all want to live in a society where children are supported to be the best they can be, but the reality is very different for too many.

“The UK government can be in no doubt about the challenge it faces if it is serious about ‘levelling up’ parts of the country hardest hit by poverty.

"After the year we’ve all had, they owe it to our children to come up with a plan to tackle child poverty that includes a boost to children’s benefits.

"And they need to scrap plans to cut Universal Credit given parents and children are having a tough enough time as it is.”

The End Child Poverty Coalition is urging the government to create a credible plan to end child poverty.

It wants a commitment to maintain the £20 uplift to Universal Credit that has been implemented during the pandemic – and for it to be extended to people still on old forms of benefits – and an increase to child benefits.

A government spokesperson said it is committed to supporting families most in need.

“Latest figures show that the number of children in absolute poverty has fallen by 300,000 since 2010," they said.

The figures are based on official government data from the Department of Work and Pensions with housing costs factored in.

Measuring the number in absolute poverty is this government’s preferred way of measuring living standards. The absolute poverty line is fixed in real terms.