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Research from charity Save the Children has found the UK’s poorest children to be bearing the brunt of on-going economic crises, estimating that one in eight of the poorest children go without at least one hot meal a day.
The report ‘Child Poverty: It Shouldn’t Happen Here’, published today, reports that parents are going hungry in order to feed their children, that a quarter of the poorest families are experiencing disharmony in their domestic life because of financial pressures, and that one in seven of the poorest children go without a winter coat and new shoes.
Other problems Save the Children have found include that more and more children are missing out on school trips and that parents feel unable to prioritise helping their children get the most out of education or prepare for future careers.
Urging the Government to help by strengthening the new Universal Credit welfare system, chief executive Justin Forsyth comments:
“No child should see their parent going hungry or start the new term without a warm coat and with holes in their shoes.
“Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money.”
However, Save the Children also want the general public to get involved, having launched a UK appeal for first time in its history. Mr Forsyth continues:
“We need to help poor families survive the recession.
“Given that most children living in poverty have at least one parent in work; it is appalling that those parents can’t earn enough to give themselves and their kids a decent life.
“All working parents should be able to earn enough to meet the basic needs of their children. The Government must make work pay by encouraging more employers to introduce a living wage, provide extra child care support to help parents trying to get into work and protect the poorest and most disadvantaged from further cuts.”