One-third of children in Burnley living in poverty

A third of children in Burnley are living in relative poverty, new figures show.
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Some 6,520 children in the town were living in relative poverty in the year ending April 2022, according to figures by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Charity Save the Children UK said the latest figures are grim and prove families are "still very much in the depths of a crisis” as inflation increases.

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Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children, said kids growing up in poverty often grow up too fast as they are exposed to concerns about money and paying bills.

One-third of Burnley children living in poverty. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA WireOne-third of Burnley children living in poverty. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
One-third of Burnley children living in poverty. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Ms Lyon added: "This can leave lasting scars. Families need a proper benefits system that protects them from hardship, and means children can grow up without having to know what the inside of a food bank looks like.”

One-third of children were in a family earning less than 60% of the average household income. Such families also claimed child benefit and at least one other household benefit.

Nearly a quarter of Burnley children – equating to 4,803 – were in absolute poverty.

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Overall, it was up from 30.8% of children living in poverty in 2020-21 and 26.4% seen in 2014-15.

The charity Action for Children accused ministers of knowing what works, given the action taken during the pandemic, but “choosing not to do it”, and said help has been “snatched away” from families.

Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: “It’s astonishing that, despite the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and the prospect of rising child poverty for years to come, the Government is not targeting help for children in low-income families.

“There is so much more this Government can do in these tough times to stop those with the least from suffering the most.”

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A Government spokesperson said they are “committed to eradicating poverty and supporting those in need, and our actions have helped ensure there are nearly two million fewer people in absolute poverty than there were in 2009-10.”

They said the latest figures “reflect the country coming out of the pandemic and accompanying rising prices” and that record levels of support have been provided through cost-of-living payments, the Household Support Fund and the Energy Price Guarantee, which “will continue to hold down people’s energy bills”.