Rising level of child poverty in Harlow

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THE HARLOW child poverty rate for children is rising, with 31 per cent of all children in the area in poverty, according to a report conducted by Loughborough University.

But Harlow Council chairman Clive Souter said “I don’t think Harlow has got a large child poverty area. There are certain areas that need improvement but the council is trying to rectify these.

“Harlow is being redeveloped with better quality housing. When you get decent housing, people look after it and our schools are also improving.”

The report, published by End Child Poverty group, states that the level of poverty in context of the report is 60 per cent lower than the national average income. The rise is not just local, but is part of a more national trend.

The report says “Child Poverty in the UK is rising. After a long period in which it fell, between the late 1990s and around 2010, the child poverty rate fluctuated in the first half of the present decade, but the trend is now upwards on all indicators.

“This shows [shown below  in graph] that both ‘relative’ and ‘absolute’ poverty are now higher than in 2010, whether measured before or after housing costs.”

In regards to Essex, Harlow is ranked the ninth most child poverty area in the entire county. It was above South Basildon and East Thurrock, and below Thurrock and Clacton. Ilford South is the most child poverty stricken area in the county, with 47 per cent of children living in poverty.

Anna Feuchtwang, chair of the End Child Poverty coalition says “We know what causes child poverty and we know how to end it. We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real term cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs.”

 

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William Spalding

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