“Cuts to family benefits and in-work support” are being blamed for poorer families across the UK drifting even deeper into poverty.
“Cuts to family benefits and in-work support” are being blamed for poorer families across the UK drifting even deeper into poverty, as new research reveals that poorer families are struggling to get by on an average weekly income of £55.60 below the poverty threshold.
Research published today by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows that the ‘poverty gap’ – how far the income of an average poorer family falls below the poverty threshold – has grown by 9.4% in recent years, from £50.80 in 2010-11 to £55.60.
The research is published ahead of the Scottish and UK government’s annual child poverty statistics, with independent forecasts warning the number of children in the UK living in poverty will increase 50% by 2020, with significant increases expected in 2017.
Whilst parents are doing their best to protect children from the worst effects of poverty, CPAG say children in low-income households are feeling the squeeze too. CPAG Scotland warn of an increase in the number of children who are unable to have friends round for tea or go on school trips as a result of financial constraints.
Jennifer, a working mother of three young children from Edinburgh, said: “My younger son is going away on a residential school trip, it’s the end of school trip in primary seven. But I’ve not been able to manage to pay the £200 to it because I’ve needed it for my rent…I presume that there will be other mums that struggle as well.
“It’s just all the extra stuff to get. You have to buy things like wellies and waterproofs and they’re never going to wear them again but you have to get them. All the other kids will have them. So, you just have to. It’ll be fine. I’ll sort something out.”
CPAG Scotland are calling on both the UK and Scottish Government “to take immediate steps to avert a child poverty crisis in Scotland”.