William Eichler 15 July 2019

Local government cuts forcing children to grow up in poverty, Labour say

Millions of children are growing up in poverty because of Whitehall cuts to local authority funding, Labour says after new research reveals the extent of childhood poverty.

A survey of 1,200 frontline support workers by the children’s charity Buttle UK has revealed that 60% see families more than once a week who are unable to afford the basics (food, household items, fuel).

Half of the respondents, many of whom work for councils, also said they often see children fed breakfast and/or dinner at school because families cannot afford to feed them themselves.

Around 50% of these support workers said they work with families unable to afford the costs of children’s clothes and shoes.

Nearly all of the survey respondents said they saw families experience issues of rising debt, delays due to Universal Credit and cuts to welfare services to some extent.

Around 30% reported they see families experiencing all of these problems on a daily basis.

Commenting on the report, Labour’s shadow minister for children Steve Reed MP said: ‘Millions of children across our country are growing up stuck in poverty thanks to Conservative cuts to local authorities and social security.

‘No society that loves its children can treat them like this. The Government must learn lessons from this powerful report and make Britain’s children their priority rather than tax cuts for the super-rich.’

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