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Child poverty numbers jump by 100,000 over one year

THE number of children living in poverty has risen by 100,000 in the past year, official government figures revealed today.

Figures are set to jump even higher as the coronavirus pandemic hits vulnerable families. 

The grim statistics show that in the past 12 months the number of children living below the breadline has risen to 4.2 million  — up from 4.1 million in 2017/18.  

Action for Children called on the government to put a “protective shield” around children in low-income families. 

The charity’s director of policy and campaigns Imran Hussain said: “These grim figures show millions of families with children are already struggling to keep their heads above water even before they — and millions of others living comfortably — find themselves hit hard by the economic wave of this once-in-a-generation health crisis.”

He urged the government to suspend the benefit cap and the two-child limit for universal credit, explaining that this would ensure children most at risk of poverty would be able to stay afloat. 

Department of Work and Pensions Minister Therese Coffey said that the government had taken steps to raise the living wage and end benefit freezes. 

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