Ipswich: More than 6,500 children living below the breadline in Ipswich

Child poverty levels revealed

Child poverty levels revealed - Credit: Archant

The cost of child poverty in Ipswich was an estimated £71m last year, a study has revealed.

Across Suffolk there were 23,380 children living in poverty costing local authorities around £253million.

There were also particular poverty hotspots in Waveney with an estimated 3,131 children in poverty costing around £56m and Suffolk Coastal with 2,912 at a cost of £32m.

The Child Poverty Action Group’s study, carried out by Loughborough University, comes as local authorities are trying to tackle child poverty at a time of welfare reform changes and the economic climate.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “The county council is committed to reducing the levels of child poverty in Suffolk.

“We provide a wide range of services that contribute to breaking the cycle of child poverty, including supporting parents to access free or affordable childcare so they can work or study.

“Families can also get help from financial and Job Centre Plus advisors through children’s centres, to ensure they are receiving the benefits that they are entitled to and help them find suitable employment.

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“Our financial inclusion team is currently monitoring the implications of changes to the welfare system so that we can respond to, and mitigate against, any negative impacts on families.”

Children are classed as in poverty if their family’s income falls below 60% of the median average income.

At below 60% of the average, families struggle to meet basic needs like food, heating, transport, clothing, school equipment and trips.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: “We always put our children first in family life, and it’s right that we should do so in our local communities too.

“Every council is required by law to have a local child poverty strategy, and the good news is that reducing child poverty benefits everyone by cutting the costs to local authority services and boosting the local economy through improved skills and qualifications for school leavers.”

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