More than a quarter of children in region living in poverty

More than a quarter of children growing up in Dumfries and Galloway are living in poverty, new figures have revealed.

The End Child Poverty coalition revealed that the number now stands at 8108 or 27 per cent – up three per cent on the previous year.

Only Glasgow City and Dundee City local authorities are higher in Scotland with Dumfries and Galloway on par with Clackmannanshire and North Ayrshire.

The highest percentage in the region’s wards are Mid Galloway at 37 per cent and North West Dumfries at 26 per cent.

Now, the coalition is calling for the major political parties to outline ambitious child poverty-reduction strategies, with some English local authority areas having more than half of children living trapped in poverty.

Ward breakdown in Dumfries and Galloway with percentage of children in poverty:

Mid Galloway – 37 per cent

Abbey – 22 per cent

Annandale East and Eskdale – 25 per cent

Stranraer and North Rhins – 34 per cent

Annandale North – 25 per cent

North West Dumfries – 36 per cent

Wigtown West – 34 per cent

Nith – 17 per cent

Lochar – 16 per cent

Castle Douglas and Glenkens – 28 per cent

Mid and Upper Nithsdale – 28 per cent

Annandale South – 25 per cent

Dee – 32 per cent

Anna Feuchtwang, chairwoman of the End Child Poverty coalition, said: “We know what causes child poverty and we know how to end it. We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real-terms cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs. And we know that work alone does not guarantee a route out of poverty, with two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families.

“Yet in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception it’s the rule with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances. Policymakers can no longer deny the depth of the problem or abandon entire areas to rising poverty. The Government must respond with a credible child poverty-reduction strategy.

“The Government’s own data shows that child poverty in the UK has been rising steadily in recent years. This just isn’t right. Growing up in poverty means growing up trapped. It restricts a child’s chances of doing well at school, of living a healthy and happy life, and of finding well paid work as adults. We urgently need Government to set a course of action that will free our children from the grip of poverty.’

End Child Poverty is calling for Government to set out an ambitious and credible child poverty-reduction strategy, including:

  • Restoring the link between benefits (including housing support) and inflation, and then making up for the loss in the real value in children’s benefits as a result of the 4-year freeze and previous sub-inflation increases in benefit rates.
  • Ending the two-child limit on child allowances in tax credits and universal credit-and reforming Universal Credit;
  • Reversing the cuts and investing in children’s services such as mental health, education, childcare and social care.

The full report is available at: http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/poverty-in-your-area-2019/