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NewsFour in ten North West children live in relative poverty, new data...

Four in ten North West children live in relative poverty, new data shows

New research reveals that 37 per cent of all children in the North West are living in relative poverty, after the cost of housing is considered.

The data was carried out by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition, to provide new information on child poverty across North West England.

Of the 73 constituencies in this region, almost all have a child poverty rate of 25 per cent or more.

The group says that child poverty should be a key general election issue for families across the region.

The five new general election constituencies with the highest levels of child poverty in the North West are:

  1. Oldham West, Chadderton and Royton (53.5%)
  2. Manchester Rusholme (53%)
  3. Blackburn (52%)
  4. Oldham East and Saddleworth (51.6%)
  5. Manchester Central (51.3%)

These are followed by Blackley and Middleton South, Bolton North East, Bolton South and Walkden, Rochdale and Hyndburn.

This demonstrates that the overall child poverty figure for the region hides much higher child poverty figures for some areas.

Graham Whitham, CEO at Greater Manchester Poverty Action said: “The new data really illustrates the appalling levels of poverty we are seeing in the North West.

“Nearly four in ten children are now living in poverty across the region – with this figure rising to one in two in the worst-hit constituencies. For many this means being excluded from activities like school trips and days out, not having clothes that fit them, going to school hungry, and in some cases sharing a bed or sleeping on the floor.

“No child should go without the things they need to be healthy and happy. We urgently need to see a commitment to develop a national mission to end poverty, backed by a
clear anti-poverty strategy with real policy change.

“Whichever party forms the next government must commit to ending the cruel two-child limit policy – which forces parents into unimaginable choices, denies families the support they need from our social security system, and limits the potential of thousands of children and young people across our country.”

A single mum from Stretford supported by Greater Manchester Poverty Action has been struggling with the cost-of-living for the past few years. Her money problems began after the birth of her daughter, who is now eight years old and showing signs of autism.

She said: “You have to sacrifice a lot. You always have to say, ‘oh, I’ll have to get that next month’. Because by the time I’ve paid all my bills, I’ve literally got nothing left. It makes me feel rubbish. I don’t have a nice place to live to call home, I don’t like anyone coming round because I feel embarrassed.”

Helen Greaney
Helen Greaney
I'm a journalist with more than 18 years' experience on local, regional and national newspapers, as well as PR and digital marketing. Crime and the courts is my specialist area but I'm also keen to hear your stories concerning Manchester and the greater North West region.
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