Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

One-Third of Children Still Live in Poverty

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

One-Third of Children Still Live in Poverty

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

More than 220,000 children in the North are living in poverty ( and the problem is getting worse.

The shocking statistic is revealed today in a new report naming the region as having the worst child poverty in the UK outside of inner London.

The figures, taken from a household survey by the Department of Work and Pensions, present a picture of the region that is in sharp contrast to its image of culture and prosperity.

While the problem is being successfully tackled in the rest of the country, child poverty has increased by 6pc in the North since 2002.

Last night, the region's business and council leaders said they were "shocked and appalled" by the news and called for action. However, Labour MPs said the Government was already taking steps to tackle the problem.

A national campaign by End Child Poverty kicks off in Newcastle today and the charity's director Jonathan Stearn last night explained to The Journal why the region was chosen for the launch of their nationwide campaign.

He said: "Children living in the North are among those hardest hit by poverty anywhere in Britain. We want to bring it home to people that this is a problem for all of us.

"Newcastle is one of England's most cultured and elegant cities, but in some parts of the city there are children whose lives are being decimated by poverty.

"The two key reasons for this are that the North has the lowest average earnings and highest percentage of jobless families in England."

Director of Barnardo's North-East Jonathan Ewen said: "It's shocking that children in the North still live in poverty.

"Poor is defined as a household whose total income, adjusted for family size, children's ages and housing costs, is below 60pc of the average, which we know, in 2002, worked out at pounds 146-a-week per household.

"It is entirely believable that a great many households, or families, in the region will only have that sort of money to live on."

Children North-East youth worker Caroline Freeman said: "It doesn't surprise me at all that the North-East has the second largest amount of children living in poverty. …

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