'˜Shocking' new statistics show almost a quarter of Lancaster district children live in poverty

Almost a quarter of children in the Lancaster district are living in poverty, according to new statistics.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 2:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:01 pm
Child poverty is recorded as affecting almost a quarter of Lancaster district children in new statistics.

Figures released by The End Child Poverty coalition suggest that after housing costs have been taken into account, 24.5 per cent of children living in the Lancaster City Council area are living in poverty.

The new figures reveal that 3,863 children (25.5 per cent) are living in poverty in the Lancaster and Fleetwood parliamentary constituency, and 5,087 in Morecambe and Lunesdale, 26.4 per cent.

The wards with the highest levels of child poverty are Heysham North with 36.43 per cent and Westgate with 34.22 per cent.

The End Child Poverty coalition is warning that the benefits freeze in place until the end of the decade, along with cuts to Universal Credit, will mean that as prices rise, low income families will find it increasingly hard to pay for the same basic essentials.

They are calling on the Government to use the upcoming Autumn Statement to end the freeze on children’s benefits, and to reverse the sharp cuts being introduced to in-work benefits under Universal Credit.

Lancaster MP Cat Smith MP has slammed the new figures as “shocking”.

She said: “It’s clear that low pay, insecure work and the lack of affordable housing are taking their toll on UK families and the children of this country are suffering as a result.

“That’s why Labour is calling for the full reversal of damaging cuts to Universal Credit which will leave 2.5million working families on average £2,100 worse off.

“Only a Labour Government will stand up for working people, introduce a real Living Wage and build a fairer economy that works for all.”

Morecambe MP David Morris said: “I do not agree with this data and it is certainly not what I see in the constituency where unemployment is at an all time low.

“These are not official figures by the publication’s own admission These estimates are not accurate counts of how many children are in poverty in each area, as stated in their own methodology, and therefore cannot be relied upon.”