MP strikes as child poverty rises in Bolton


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An alarming increase in child poverty in Bolton shows the scale of the challenge of “leveling” government.

This is according to MP Yasmin Qureshi whose constituency of Bolton South East has the fourth highest level of child deprivation in the North West at 45%.

She was speaking after the charity Action for Children released new figures indicating a worrying upward trend in child poverty across the UK.

Even before the pandemic, 4.3 million children lived in poverty, up 200,000 from the previous year – and 500,000 in the past five years, according to the report.

Child poverty levels in the Borough of Bolton rose from 32.9% in 2014/15 to 37% in 2019/20, an increase of 4.1%, according to the figures.

Research conducted by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition shows that the North West of England has seen child poverty rates rise over the past five years, fueled by stagnant family incomes. Almost a third of the region’s children grow up in poverty as rates rise.

The overall child poverty rate in the Northwest has fallen from 29% to 31% over the past five years. Several local authorities in the North West have reported rising child poverty rates, Manchester and Oldham in particular seeing their child poverty levels soar after housing costs are factored in.

Ms Qureshi said the numbers constituted a “ damning indictment of the conservative regime over the past 11 years. ”

She continued: “The last Labor government presented an expressed goal to end child poverty by 2020 in 1999, and with policies like SureStart and child tax credits we were on the right track. way to achieve it. “


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“Yet despite these forays, the Conservatives have pushed record numbers to food banks, around 2.5 million, and forced so many families into poverty with their failed policies.

“If the government takes seriously its commitments to ‘level’ places like South East Bolton, it will come up with a comprehensive plan to address this systemic problem that plagues places like my constituency.”

Imran Hussain, Director of Policy and Campaigns for Action for Children, said: “These deeply disturbing figures reveal the true extent of the hardship facing families in the North West – even before the pandemic struck.

“With rising child poverty rates, children in the region are among the most vulnerable to the devastating economic consequences of the pandemic.

“Our frontline workers tell us that the poverty levels are the worst they have ever seen, as they provide life-saving support to families in the region who are desperate to keep their children dressed and well nourished.

“We are desperately concerned for this generation of children who have seen their childhood and their chances of life damaged and disrupted by poverty and the pandemic. If the government is serious about leveling the areas of the country hardest hit by poverty, it must abandon its plans to cut universal credit later this year and give families a chance to recover.

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