1. New projections have claimed the number of children in the UK living in poverty could reach a record high of five million by 2020.
A report by Save the Children predicts a 41% rise in the next six years, with the number of children in poverty increasing by 1.4 million from the 3.5 million figure today.
The charity claims children in the UK have paid the highest price in the recent recession, with families being hit by flat wages, cuts to benefits and a rising cost of living.
2. The report, “A Fair Start for Every Child”, points out childcare costs have soared, with nursery places for children under two years old increasing by 77% between 2003 and 2013.
Two thirds of children in poverty reportedly now live in working households, with the UK having one of the highest rates of low pay in the developed world.
3. Save the Children’s prediction is based on work carried out by research firm Landman Economics, which added the social security cuts outlined by the main political parties to estimates by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
The report highlights the lifelong issues associated with childhood poverty, with only a third of the poorest children achieving five good GCSEs.
And three years ago, there were more than double the amount of obese children in the poorest households, compared to the richest.
4. Justin Forsyth, Save the Children’s CEO, said: “Millions of children in the UK are being left behind – sentenced to a lifetime of poverty.”
“Far too many of our children are living in cold and damp homes, without healthy food, with parents who can see no end to their situation.
“If we ignore the rising toll of poverty we are blighting the future of a further 1.4 million children. In one of the world’s richest countries there is simply no excuse.”
5. A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions responded to the report by claiming the government was committed to ending child poverty by tackling its root causes.
“With the economy growing we have just seen the largest rise in employment for over 40 years and unemployment is falling, with 100,000 fewer children living in workless poor families,” they said.
“Universal Credit will make around three million households better off and lift up to 300,000 children out of poverty”