Living below poverty line: children are in danger of being left behind

Sohail Anjum Malik


Poorer children are also three times more likely to suffer from mental health problems.

If the economy is growing, why are 3.5 million children living in poverty and why is Save the Children predicting 1.5 million more children will join them by 2020?

In one of the world’s richest countries, it’s disgusting. And question arises as to why our politicians are not doing more about it?

Whether poverty exists in any part of the globe, its consequences are the same: Children go hungry, live in miserable conditions, and have a worse chance of education and a lower life expectancy.

Poverty in the UK may not look like poverty in the developing world but it has real world consequences. I’ve met families here living in little more than rented slums, worn out by poverty, hunger and desperation.

How surprised are you that charities such as Save the Children, which work in some of the poorest countries, are fighting for children to get a better deal here?

All political parties signed up to the 2010 Child Poverty Act. Yet instead of meeting the set target of reducing the proportion of children in relative poverty to less than 10%, it looks like 35% of kids will be living in poverty by then.

Politicians all agree work is the best route out of poverty but two-thirds of poor children now live in working households.

Having enough to make ends meet is nowhere near the reality for hundreds of thousands of families. If pay packets and help through benefits are still leaving families short every month, then something is seriously wrong.

One must have seen first hand hard-working parents putting in all the hours God sends in poorly-paid jobs yet still having to face daily struggles with mounting debt and poor housing.

These parents are forced to go without an adequate meal themselves just so they can put food on the table for their children.

In a supposed caring society that simply isn’t right because we are not a poor country.

We need to open our eyes and accept crippling poverty exists here and that generations of children are in danger of being left behind.

When are we going to wake up to that and do something about it?
The number of children trapped in poverty in the UK is set to soar to a record five million by the end of the decade, a charity warns today.

Save the Children claims these youngsters will have their future “written off” because of government cuts, stagnant wages and the squeeze on welfare benefits.

In a damning report, titled A Fair Start for Every Child, the charity says the number of children in poverty is set to rise by 41 per cent – from 3.5million now to nearly five million by 2020.

The report says young people have paid the highest price in the recession. Food prices leaped by 19% between 2007 and 2011, and childcare costs have risen by 77% since 2003.

Due to a “poverty premium”, the report says the poorest families now spend £1,639 more a year on basics than the average household.

This is because they are more likely to pay heating bills via a meter, which costs more, and they are less able to save money by bulk buying food.

Islamabad Via E Mail

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