A worrying report by the End Child Poverty (ECP) coalition has revealed that thousands of Surrey children are living in poverty.
The worst affected local authority in Surrey is Carshalton and Wallington, where 23.9% of children (5,782) were found to be living in a low-income home in December 2015.
The least affected area is South West Surrey, where 12.9% of children (2,884) are classified as growing up in poverty.
The figures take into account a family’s remaining pay after housing costs.
Relative poverty in the UK (also called relative low income) is defined as a total family income that is less than 60% of the national average income, which is currently £26,000. People who fall into this bracket are considered to be either ‘at risk of poverty’ or already subsisting below the minimum acceptable standard of living.
In 2013-14, there were 3.7 million children living in poverty in the UK – the equivalent of 9 children in classroom of 30.
Sadly, work is no longer an easy route out of poverty. Two-thirds (64 per cent) of children who are growing up in poverty have at least one parent in work.
Sam Royston, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said:
“As the Prime Minister has rightly recognised, this is not a country that works for everyone. In every community, there are children being denied the happy childhoods and the good start in life other children take for granted. Our children are twice as likely to be poor as our pensioners.
“Families who are just about managing today, won’t be managing tomorrow if Universal Credit leaves them with fewer pounds in their pocket and if inflation means the pounds in their pocket don’t stretch as far as they used to.
“This month’s Autumn Statement is a major opportunity for the new government to act to help these families. We urge the Chancellor to reverse the significant cuts to Universal Credit targeted at working families and, at the very least, shield children’s benefits from inflation.”
The full report on local child poverty figures can be downloaded here.