Mayor of Hackney says benefit changes will add to high poverty rates

PUBLISHED: 17:14 27 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:49 27 February 2013

Hackney is one of the worst 20 local authorities in the UK for children living in poverty (Pic credit: PA/Owen Humphreys)

Hackney is one of the worst 20 local authorities in the UK for children living in poverty (Pic credit: PA/Owen Humphreys)


Three in 10 children in Hackney live in poverty, research conducted by The End Child Poverty campaign shows.

What is relative poverty?

According to the government, families with children who are earning less than 60 per cent median income (currently £26,500 for 2013) are classed as living in relative poverty.

There is an additional formula used depending on the adult child ratio so for example a couple with two children under 16 who earn less than a total of £18,300 are living in poverty.

But a single parent with two children would be classed as living in poverty if they are taking home less than £14,000.

This figure is £11,300 for a single parent with one child.

Around 30 per cent of children in Hackney are living below the breadline - which is the fifth worst result in London and the 20th worst nationally.

It also much higher than the national average where one in five children live in poverty.

Enver Solomon, chair of the campaign which is based at White Lion Street, Islington said: “The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region. Far too many children whose parents are struggling to making a living are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.

“Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make. We’re calling on authorities to prioritise low income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the bedroom tax.”

The campaign has written to Hackney council leaders asking them what they will do to tackle child poverty.

Hackney’s Mayor Jules Pipe said: “In Hackney, 30 per cent of families are struggling to feed, house and clothe their children and this is a situation that is preventable. Unfortunately, despite a decrease from the last set of statistics the governments benefits changes will have a significant impact on families in Hackney, including many households in lower paid jobs. Council staff have been contacting all families affected by the governments benefit changes to offer advice as well as support to help people of all ages back into work thorough our Ways into Work scheme. The council is committed to ensuring its services are geared towards the children, young people and families who need them the most. It is crucial that as a society we are working towards getting rid of child poverty, not forcing more families into making impossible choices between paying for food or paying their rent.”

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