‘Our kids are being left behind by poverty and miss out on clothes and trips’

As a society we have a strong sense of decency and compassion, so rising child poverty is a big concern for all of us.

Nine children in a class of 30 are living in poverty in the UK.

It's not right that these children miss out on the things most kids take for granted: warm clothes, school trips, having friends over for tea. That they’re likely to do less well at school and earn less as adults.

As we are bringing children up, poverty is bringing them down.

And poverty affects many aspects of children's lives.

One 15-year-old boy told us: 'I think if all of your friends or people you know go to the after-school clubs, school trips, that kind of isolates you from them. You're singled out, you're not with them, just a spare person.'

Are you a parent struggling with poverty? Email [email protected]

 

The good news is that we know it doesn't have to be like this.

We know we can right the wrong of child poverty because we've done it before.

When tackling child poverty is a government priority, with commitment, leadership and action, we can make significant progress.

To ensure that all children can thrive, we need to address all of their needs.

Children can be protected from poverty and its effects with action on social security, jobs, childcare, education, homes, and services and support for parents.

Read more about our Give Me Five campaign here

In the short term, the government could make significant progress with a modest package of investment in children's benefits: restoring support for children in universal credit, and increasing child benefit by at least £5 a week would make a big difference to families.

Lifting the two-child limit – which will otherwise push 300,000 children into poverty and one million more into deeper poverty by 2023 – is vital, as is removing the benefit cap. This action alone would lift 700,000 children out of poverty.

To sign our petition calling on Boris Johnson to increase child benefit click here

Of course we need to go much further to ensure social security offers true security for children, and we need action to better support people in low paid jobs to tackle in-work poverty, a comprehensive childcare strategy, changes in education such as universal free school meals, and investment in housing and services for families.

Poverty restricts children's opportunities, and can mean that they're left behind.

The effects of this can stay with these kids throughout their lives. It doesn't have to be like this.

It's fantastic to see the Mirror campaigning so that all children can enjoy a life free from poverty.

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