Almost four million children across the UK now living below the breadline, a charity has warned.
In a report published today, the children’s charity Buttle UK, claim more vulnerable young people are living in poverty than at any time in the previous 10 years.
According to the report more than 400,000 children do not have their own bed to sleep in and have to sleep on the floor or share with parents or siblings.
And it warns parents are having to make difficult choices between spending money on food, bills or their children.
It also claims two thirds of children living in poverty have at least one parent in work, which the charity said raises questions about low pay, zero hours contracts and the gig economy.
The charity’s chief executive, Gerri McAndrew, said urgent action must be taken. ‘Our report clearly shows that families with limited incomes are under increasing pressure and are being forced to make impossible choices for their children – between healthy meals, warm clothes and heating their homes,’ said Ms McAndrew.
‘We call on government to recognize the pressure these families are currently under and, in particular, to reduce the dual impact of the changes to the welfare system with rising prices by ending the freeze on child benefit and child tax credit, and reinstating the link between annual increases and inflation; and ensuring that support with housing costs for families renting privately rises in line with increases in local rents.
‘Over the last 60 years we have proven time and time again that small amounts of tailored, targeted and timely funding can lift the most vulnerable in society out of a crisis to help them transform their lives,’ she added.