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UK child poverty at 2.3 million


The government has released figures showing that the number of children living in poverty in the UK is at 2.3 million.

A report from the Department for Work and Pensions has shown that one in six children are now living in poverty, a figure which has not changed since 2011. A child is described as being in poverty when they are living in a household that earns below 60% of the UKs average. In the UK the average weekly income was £453 a week, making the poverty line £272 a week.

Children’s charities have now claimed that further cuts and proposed welfare changes could leave families in the UK even worse off.

Javed Khan, chief executive of children's charity Barnardo's, has said that every child living in poverty has been “let down”, and believes the government must change the benefits system so families are not forced further into poverty.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said:
"Make no mistake, we are facing a child poverty crisis in the years ahead and the government is not going to meet the child poverty targets."

Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has defended the figures, claiming that UK poverty levels are at their "lowest since the mid-1980s" and that he is “committed” to dealing with the "root causes" of poverty, saying employment was up by more than two million since 2010.

The figures released also showed that 9.6 million people in the UK are on relative low incomes, and the number of pensioners also living in poverty increased by 100,000.

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