20% of children 'in poverty'

New figures show that one in five British children live below the poverty line with a wide disparity in rates across the UK and within regions.

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One in five UK children 'living below the poverty line'

One in five children in the UK live below the poverty line, according to research published today. The End Child Poverty campaign published figures showing that 20.2% of children live in poverty, before housing costs.

In 8 areas of large cities, more than four out of every 10 children lived in poverty in 2012, the research showed.

In central Manchester almost half of children live below the breadline, whilst in West Belfast and Glasgow the figure is 43%. Campaigners say the research reveals "gross levels of inequality".

ITV News' Scotland correspondent Debi Edwards reports.

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Government tackling 'root causes' of child poverty

The Government says it is committed to eradicating child poverty and in a statement the Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said:

"We want to take a new approach by tackling the root causes including worklessness, educational failure and family breakdown.

"Our welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities, with the Universal Credit simplifying the complex myriad of benefits and making three million people better off."

Manchester Central had the highest rate of child poverty according to the study at 47% Credit: Press Association

'Gross levels of inequality' in every UK region

The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region. Far too many children whose parents are struggling to making a living are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.

The huge disparities that exist across the country have become more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long term poverty and disadvantage.

Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make. Were calling on authorities to prioritise low income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the bedroom tax.

This week we have written to local authority leaders in the local authorities with the most child poverty, asking them what they will do to tackle child poverty in their local area.

– Enver Solomon, Chair of the End Child Poverty campaign

Poverty affecting '20% of children' across Britain

New figures reveal the extent to which British children are living in poverty. The Campaign to End Child Poverty says 20.2% of British children are classified as below the poverty line, before housing costs. The top 20 parliamentary constituencies for child poverty in the UK are:

  • Manchester Central, 47%
  • Belfast West, 43%
  • Glasgow North East, 43%
  • Birmingham, Ladywood, 42%
  • Bethnal Green and Bow, 42%
  • Liverpool, Riverside, 42%
  • Poplar and Limehouse, 41%
  • Middlesbrough, 40%
  • Blackley and Broughton, 38%
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Central, 38%
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