To the editor,

I was shocked to learn, via new research from the End Child Poverty Coalition, that in Hereford and South Herefordshire there are 6012 children living in poverty, which equals 29.4 per cent of all children. Across the UK this figure is 29 per cent.

It is concerning to me that UK children are growing up in homes where they go without meals, appropriate clothing or heating.

This research not only details where children are growing up in poverty, but which families are most likely to be experiencing this. The report finds that between 2021/22 across the UK:

  • 71 per cent of children who were in poverty after housing costs, and 67 per cent of those who were in poverty before housing costs, were in a family where at least one adult was working
  • 44 per cent of children in lone parent families are in poverty after housing costs. This is compared with just 25 per cent of children in couple parent families
  • The poverty rate for children in families with three or more children was 42 per cent, compared with 23 per cent and 22 per cent among children in families with one or two children, respectively
  • Children living in a family where someone is disabled had a poverty rate of 36 per cent after housing costs, compared with 25 per cent for children living in families where no-one is disabled.
  • There are persistent ethnic inequalities in child poverty across the UK, 47 per cent of children in Asian or Asian British households, and 53 per cent of those in Black households, were in poverty after housing costs. This is compared with just 25 per cent of those where the head of household was white.

I understand that in order to address the increasing numbers of children in poverty, the End Child Poverty Coalition are calling for an end to the two-child limit to benefit payments, as part of their All Kids Count campaign. If the government were to do scrap this policy which prevents larger families from claiming child related benefits for their third or subsequent child, 250,000 children would immediately be lifted out of poverty.

Yours faithfully, Roy Little