Third of children in Portsmouth South living in poverty

Newly released statistics from Child Poverty Action Group reveal devastating extent of child poverty in the city.

The End Child Poverty coalition today released new statistics showing the extent of child poverty across the UK broken down by constituency, local authority and ward.

The latest statistics show that 36.04% of children in Portsmouth South are living in poverty. In Charles Dickens Ward, the percentage is even higher at 50.31%.

Sonia, a local mother interviewed by the CPAG, said:

“I struggle with the day-to-day-costs (of living) – with prices going up and up, the money coming in doesn’t reflect my outgoings. If the children need a new school uniform or if the washing machine breaks down – I can’t afford it. I make sure my children get what they need first. I cut back on myself”.

The figures also show that some of the most deprived areas of the UK have seen the biggest increases in child poverty since the coalition’s local child poverty figures for December 2015. Increases of 10 percentage points in some areas demonstrate the growing crisis of child poverty in the UK.

As price rises risk pushing ever larger numbers of children below the poverty line, the coalition is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children’s benefits.

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, a long-standing campaigner on child poverty in the city said:

“These statistics are appalling, and further evidence that the Tories are failing to support those most in need. What’s truly shocking is that, under this Government, child poverty is not just failing to reduce, it is rising.

The Prime Minister must urgently address the fact that work is not paying. Real wages are still lower than they were in 2010 and working families are set to be £1,400 a year worse off by 2020.

I completely agree with the Child Poverty Action Group that it is crucial that ministers take the simple step of ending the freeze on child benefits.

I will continue to put pressure on the Government to do more to tackle the poverty we see in Portsmouth. I’ll continue to visit services that do so much to support families in need in our city”.