End Child Poverty figures reveal 50,000 kids in Suffolk are in poverty
More than 50,000 children in Suffolk are being brought up in poverty, shock new statistics have revealed.
End Child Poverty published its 2019 figures which revealed that 28.5 per cent of all the county’s youngsters were living in poverty, based on an average of all the county’s districts.
In Ipswich alone more than 12,000 children were living below the benchmark – more than one in three of the town’s children.
It is measured on housing costs and earnings, meaning that a single parent earning £204 a week (after housing costs) and with one child, or a couple earning £314 a week with one child, are classed as in poverty.
Jack Abbott, Labour county councillor for the Bridge division in Ipswich, raised fears that it meant children were going without things such as breakfast or days out, and urged MPs to take action.
“These are truly shocking figures which lay bare the effects of a near decade-long austerity programme,” he said.
“To have nearly 50,000 children growing up in poverty in Suffolk is one of the greatest scandals of our time.
“It is intolerable that children and families should continue to suffer the toxic cocktail of deep and relentless cuts, rising living costs and stagnant wages.
“With more than two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families, it is clear that work alone does not guarantee a route out of poverty.
“This must not be allowed to become the new normal – no child should be growing up in poverty in 21st Century Britain.”
Despite the stark numbers, the data suggests that the percentage for Ipswich has actually fallen by 0.6 per cent on last year.
Ian Fisher, leader of the opposition Conservative group at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “IBC have concentrated on providing social and council housing, and we are all agreed that this is essential.
“Unfortunately their insistence on then inviting low-income families from other areas, especially London, has vastly increased the number of such families living in the area.
“Of course, the Conservative policy is to rent these houses to local families but we also want to ensure that more private housing is built providing aspiration for Ipswich families.”
He added: “It is undoubted that some families are struggling with day to day expenses and this is nothing new. The current benefits system provides a safety net for all and the level of the income is determined so as to leave each family with enough money to live on.
“The introduction of Universal Credit has also seen a huge rise in people leaving benefits and gaining work.
“We are all aware that work pays in the long run and this must be the way forward.”