The DWP has today released its Households Below Average Income statistics, which show that child poverty has reached a record high – with 4.3 million children in the UK now below the poverty line.

This figure is up from 3.6 million in 2010-11 and means 3 in 10 children in the UK are now living in poverty. 69% of these live in a working household.

Overall, the new figures show that 900,000 more people were living in relative poverty in the UK in 2022/23 than in 2020/21 – and the number of people at risk of or unable to afford enough food has leapt from 4.7 million to 7.2 million in one year.

Graham Whitham, CEO at Greater Manchester Poverty Action said: “These figures clearly show that not enough is being done to bring people out of poverty. It is disgraceful that more than 1 in 5 people are living in poverty, and this month’s Budget didn’t offer any concrete solutions on cutting this number.

“The UK government currently has no plan or strategy to address poverty – this is unacceptable. We need to see real policy change that protects and supports low-income households, such as permanent, ring-fenced funding for local welfare assistance, an Essentials Guarantee in Universal Credit and an end to the cruel two-child limit on benefits.

“At a local level, we urge employers to pay the real Living Wage – which reflects the cost-of-living in a way that the government’s statutory minimum doesn’t – and encourage local authorities to develop their own anti-poverty strategies, as well as to use the Household Support Fund to give families money rather than in-kind support like food parcels and energy vouchers.

“As the cost-of-living crisis prevails, we urgently need to see robust responses to rising poverty that enable people up and down the country to thrive, not just survive.”

Meghan Meek-O’Connor, senior child poverty policy adviser at Save the Children UK, said: “Today 4.3 million children are being failed. It is an outrage that 100,000 more children are in poverty – they are being forgotten.

“These shocking figures should be an urgent wake-up call to all of us, especially the UK Government. We cannot go on like this. There is no reason children should be going without food, heating, toys, or beds.


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