More than one in three children in Ipswich living in poverty new statistics reveal
More than one in three children in Ipswich are living in poverty, shocking new statistics have revealed.
Thousands of children are growing up in poverty in the Suffolk town, with 36 per cent of youngsters suffering from hardship.
And rates have climbed over the past five years in the town.
There are now 4.5 per cent more under-16s living in poverty when compared to five years ago, a study commissioned by charity End Child Poverty, which took housing costs into account, found.
The town suffered the highest rise in childhood poverty in the East of England, and has more children facing hardship than the Suffolk-wide average of 27 per cent.
It means for many families, once their housing costs are paid they do not have the money to meet the needs of their children, leaving many to rely on food banks and free school meals.
Labour county councillor Jack Abbott said the figures were 'a direct consequence of the Conservatives’ unrelenting pursuit of austerity for a decade'.
"The Government is dragging their heels over providing targeted financial support to families who have lost jobs or seen their income fall substantially," he said.
"They refuse to tackle holiday hunger and extend Free School Meals over half-term and Christmas. Their promises of support to schools and families never materialised."
Suffolk is faring better than in the Midlands and northern cities, where rates have seen the sharpest increases.
In Suffolk the lowest rates were in Bury St Edmunds , with 19.8 per cent of children living in poverty according to the study, which was carried out by Loughborough University.
There were 23.5 per cent of children in South Suffolk living in poverty, with 29.2 per cent in Waveney, 23 per cent in Suffolk Coastal, and 23 per cent in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.
The End Child Poverty coalition is made up of charities, trade unions, and faith groups.