London risks child poverty time bomb: 200,000 more London kids in poverty by 2020.
Two hundred thousand more London children could be tipped into poverty by 2020 unless action is taken on key areas like jobs, childcare and housing, warns a coalition of leading charities (1). Up to half the extra 200,000 will be in a working household.
With 700,000 (2) of the capital’s kids already set to spend this Christmas in poverty, the coalition – which includes Oxfam, The Children’s Society, Barnardo’s and Child Poverty Action Group – wants the Mayoral candidates to commit to policy changes to prevent the forecast hike. Its manifesto ‘Family Friendly London’ outlines steps the Mayor can take to bring the city’s child poverty rate down.
- Halving the number of children growing up in overcrowded accommodation
- Tackling child hunger by providing free school meals for all primary school children
- Increasing flexible working opportunities
The rise in child poverty is being driven by central government cuts to working age benefits, but the Mayor of London can take action to help hard-pressed families increase earnings and bring down their costs. The coalition provides suggestions on how the next Mayor can:
- Give every child the best start in life
- Create jobs that support families
- Ensure every child has a safe and secure home
- Help families meet the costs of raising a child
“London has more children in poverty than Scotland and Wales put together and the forecast for the capital is bleak. Ordinary parents are up against sky-high housing and childcare costs, low pay and jobs they can’t easily fit with parenting responsibilities. One hundred thousand of the extra London kids who could be tipped into poverty by 2020 will have a mum or dad with a job – so work just isn’t a sure route out of hardship. But the next Mayor can – and must – act to start turning the problem around. Our Manifesto sets out the practical steps needed – on housing, childcare, jobs and more – to bring the city’s shaming child poverty rates down.”