Sharp rise in youngsters living in poverty in Luton
Save the Children UK said the latest figures are grim and prove families are "still very much in the depths of a crisis” as inflation increases.
It meant 29.1% of children in the area were in a family whose income was below 60% of average household income and claimed child benefit and at least one other household benefit.
Of these children, 11,529 were in absolute poverty as their family's income was lower than 60% of the median income established in 2010-2011 – accounting for (22%) of kids in the area.
Overall, it was up from 28.2% of children who were living in poverty in 2020-21 and up from 25.3% seen in 2014-15 when comparable records began.
Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children, said kids growing up in poverty often grow up too fast as they are exposed to concerns about money and paying bills.
Ms Lyon added: "This can leave lasting scars. Families need a proper benefits system that protects them from hardship, and means children can grow up without having to know what the inside of a food bank looks like.”
Across the UK, 2.47 million children (20.1%) were in relative poverty and 1.89 million children (15.3%) were in absolute poverty.
The charity Action for Children accused ministers of knowing what works, given the action taken during the pandemic, but “choosing not to do it”.
Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: “It’s astonishing that, despite the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and the prospect of rising child poverty for years to come, the Government is not targeting help for children in low-income families.
“There is so much more this Government can do in these tough times to stop those with the least from suffering the most,” he added.
A Government spokesperson said they are “committed to eradicating poverty and supporting those in need, and our actions have helped ensure there are nearly two million fewer people in absolute poverty than there were in 2009-10”.