Suffer the little children: one in five Edinburgh children lives in poverty

Posted on 15/10/2014 by

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‘We can and must do better for our children’

ChildPovertyEdinburgh is one of the UK’s most prosperous cities – but more than ONE IN FIVE children in the capital (21%) are living in poverty, according to the latest research.

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The Campaign to End Child Poverty (CECP) has today published new figures that provide a child poverty map of the whole of the UK. The figures are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward (see report, above). The research was conducted for CECP by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University.

The figures reveal the wide disparity in poverty rates across the UK, between regions and striking variations even within regions. London scores badly – containing ten of the top 20 constituencies with the highest child poverty rates in the UK and 14 of the 20 highest-rate local authorities. However there is variation even within regions: in London, Bethnal Green and Bow has a child poverty rate of 49% compared to just 15% in Richmond upon Thames.

In Scotland, Glasgow has the highest rate of child poverty, with the problem affecting a third of all youngsters in the city. Across Scotland some 220,000 children are living in poverty — a fifth of all youngsters — and campaigners are convinced this total will rise.

CECP is demanding urgent political action at all levels and urges the Westminster government to rethink its tax and benefit policies, claiming these could leave as many as 100,000 more children in poverty by 2020.

They also want local and national housing policies to focus on keeping rent bills down in both the social housing sector and the private rental market.

Chair of End Child Poverty David Holmes said: “These figures reveal just how widely and deeply child poverty reaches into our communities, even those areas generally regarded as well off. Far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living are suffering as a result and missing out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to. We can and must do better for our children.

“Poverty ruins childhoods and reduces life chances. Failing to invest properly in children is a false economy: already child poverty costs the country £29bn each year and in the long run taxpayers will foot an even higher bill for correcting the damage.

“We are calling on politicians of all parties to urgently set out a clear roadmap towards ending child poverty which includes the additional actions needed and the measures by which progress will be tracked.”

CECP Scotland spokesman Neil Mathers said: “It’s important we look behind these figures at what is driving this level of poverty in our country.

“Politicians of all parties, at Westminster and Holyrood, need to act to tackle the root causes of poverty, including low pay and soaring housing and childcare costs. There is nothing inevitable about this poverty. We must build on the good work that is happening in Scotland to support families.”

He went on: “We know there is ambition in Scotland to do more. We now need to act so that all our children have a fair start. We can and must do better for our children.”

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POVERTY AND INEQUALITY IN EDINBURGH

The city’s strategic community planning body The Edinburgh Partnership has created poverty and inequality profiles of each of the city’s twelve Neighbourhood Partnerships.

To see the profiles for Forth and Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnerships click on the link(s) below:

Forth NP

Inverleith NP

 

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