A damning report by the End Child Poverty (ECP) coalition has revealed that thousands of Hertfordshire children are living in poverty.
The worst affected local authority is North East Hertfordshire, where 19.2% of children (4,140) were found to be growing up in poverty in December 2015.
The Herts local authority with the lowest rates is Hitchin and Harpenden, where 12.1% of children (2,864) are classified as coming from a low-income home.
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.
Families experience poverty for many reasons, from job loss or benefit changes, to the rising cost of living and rent increases.
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 End Child Poverty Coalition is made up of over 100 children’s charities & welfare organisations, social justice and faith groups, trade unions and other civic organisation who want to create a UK free from poverty.
The full report on local child poverty figures can be downloaded here.