Ruth George MP: new High Peak child poverty figures are shocking

High Peak MP Ruth George says shocking new figures which show that more than a fifth of children in High Peak are living in poverty are likely to rise even further.

Ruth said: “It is shocking that 4,400 children in High Peak are living in poverty – over a fifth of our children, and in some wards in Gamesley, Hadfield and Buxton over a third of children are growing up in households with not enough to get by. 

“These numbers are likely to rise as they only cover up to March 2018, before the roll-out of Universal Credit to families with children in High Peak last September.  Local food banks, schools and charities are reporting an increase in need for support from local families, and when schools and local authorities are facing such huge cuts, there is less they can do to help.

“That’s why I’ve been fighting the cuts to benefits and in-work support for families since I arrived in Parliament, and campaigning for more resources for Local Authorities, schools and nurseries.  I called for an end to the benefits freeze this year and was appalled that in spite of all the evidence of growing poverty among children, pensioners and working people that the government ploughed ahead with the fourth year of frozen rates, plunging families even deeper into poverty. 

“Nationally, there are half a million more children growing up in poverty than in 2010, affecting their opportunities for the rest of their lives, so it’s very important that our government supports them properly.  I spend much of my time locally supporting constituents who have suffered cuts to their support or punitive charges, and in Parliament my work on the Work & Pensions Select Committee, chairing the All-Party Group on Universal Credit and in debates focusses on tackling the poverty that holds too many people back, especially children.”

Ruth made her comments in following the publication of new data last week by the End Child Poverty coalition which shows that child poverty is on the rise. Researchers from Loughborough University estimated the numbers of children locked in poverty in each constituency, ward and local authority area across Britain.

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Notes:

The research was conducted by Professor Donald Hirsch and Dr Juliet Stone at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. Levels of child poverty were compiled using a new, improved method for estimating child poverty using a wide range of indicators. These were combined employing a statistical technique that is widely used in calculating local data, including by the Office for National Statistics and the World Bank. The methodology is available at  https://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/

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