Highest number of young people in poverty for a decade

A new report has found that more vulnerable young people are living in poverty than at any time in the previous 10 years.

According to the Buttle UK report, The Real Face of Child Poverty in the UK in 2017, 44 per cent of families in crisis lack basic material items, meaning that over 400,000 children do not have their own bed to sleep in and have to sleep on the floor or share with parents or siblings.

The charity found that lone parents account for 63 per cent of crisis cases, with requests for support spiking during summer months as families feel pressure of not having school support and free meals.

Buttle UK has joined the End Child Poverty Coalition’s call to recognise the pressure that families are currently under, and in particular reduce the dual impact of changes to the welfare system with rising prices by: ending the freeze on Child Benefit and Child Tax credits, and reinstating the link between annual increases and inflation; and ensure that support with housing costs for families renting privately rise in line with increases in local rents.

Gerri McAndrew, Buttle UK chief executive, said: “Our report clearly shows that families with limited incomes are under increasing pressure and are being forced to make impossible choices for their children – between healthy meals, warm clothes and heating their homes.

“We call on government to recognise the pressure these families are currently under and, in particular, to reduce the dual impact of the changes to the welfare system with rising prices by ending the freeze on child benefit and child tax credit, and reinstating the link between annual increases and inflation; and ensuring that support with housing costs for families renting privately rises in line with increases in local rents. Over the last 60 years we have proven time and time again that small amounts of tailored, targeted and timely funding can lift the most vulnerable in society out of a crisis to help them transform their lives.”

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