Nearly half of all children in two London constituencies are living in poverty, according to new data from the Campaign to End Child Poverty. 49% of children in Bethnal Green and Bow, and Poplar and Limehouse, live in households below the poverty line once housing costs are taken into consideration.
Half of the UK constituencies with the highest rates of child poverty are in London (the others are: Edmonton, Westminster North, Tottenham, Hackney South and Shoreditch, East Ham, Hackney North and Stoke Newington, West Ham and Brent Central), and the three local authorities with the highest rates of child poverty are also here: Tower Hamlets (49%), Hackney (41%) and Newham (41%).
Households are considered below the poverty line if they earn less than 60% of median income. The researchers for this report combined tax credit data from 2011 with current national trends in worklessness to estimate the number of children who are in poverty. It also takes into account housing costs — which of course will hammer London hard.
Even in areas we think of as well-to-do, there are still surprising levels of child poverty: 15% in Richmond upon Thames and 20% in Sutton. David Holmes, Chair of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, said:
"Poverty ruins childhoods and reduces life chances. Failing to invest properly in children is a false economy: already child poverty costs the country £29bn each year and in the long run taxpayers will foot an even higher bill for correcting the damage. We are calling on politicians of all parties to urgently set out a clear roadmap towards ending child poverty which includes the additional actions needed and the measures by which progress will be tracked."