Shock after over 31,000 Coventry children revealed to live in poverty - The Coventry Observer

Shock after over 31,000 Coventry children revealed to live in poverty

Coventry Editorial 28th Jun, 2023   0

MORE than 31,400 Coventry children were in poverty in 2021/22, shocking new statistics have revealed.

And experts have warned that – because of the cost-of-living crisis – the next set of yearly figures will see the situation get even worse.

New research from the End Child Poverty Coalition shows the number of the city’s youngsters living in poverty – 39.6 per cent – is well above the 29.2 per cent national average.

The study, conducted annually alongside Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy, provides figures for children in every Parliamentary constituency and local authority area.

In Coventry North West, 8,354 children were in poverty, with 70 per cent of those living with at least one working family member.

Of the 8,184 children in poverty in Coventry South, 65 per cent were in working families, while 66 per cent of the 14,291 youngsters living below the breadline in Coventry North East were in families who had jobs.

The report focuses on household income up to March 2022 – the latest figures available – once rent or mortgage has been paid.

With high inflation and the cost-of-living worsening the situation, the report’s authors have urged people to ‘take action’ to help children in poverty by writing to their MP.

Coventry North West MP Taiwo Owatemi said she was ‘deeply concerned’ by the statistics and felt there shouldn’t be so many children in poverty in one of the world’s richest countries.

The city council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Coun Pat Seaman, said the results came as ‘no surprise’ as the council’s core spending power had reduced by almost £680 per Coventry household since 2010/11.

“It highlights local government finance concerns, and that 47 authorities in the north, the Midlands and on the south coast said they will have to make savings totalling £700million on spending plans set just four months ago due to inflationary pressures.

“Community, public, and business organisations have been working together to help people struggling with the rising cost of living, and supporting children and families.”

She cited support through the Holiday and Activities Food Programme and Coventry’s Child-Friendly City commitment.

“Across Coventry, training has been provided for people who work in different organisations with information to enable people to be supported at the earliest point.”

She added, as the problem was not going away, the council must continue to put pressure on the government.

“They need to do much more.”

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