Local MP Tracy Brabin is calling on the government to wake up and tackle the “shameful” child poverty crisis after new research revealed over 11,000 children in Batley and Spen are living in poverty.
The research, published by the End Child Poverty coalition, shows that across Kirklees almost 38,000 children are living in poverty while across Britain the figure is now over four million.
This is projected to rise to 5.1 million by 2020 as result of cuts to benefits and in-work allowances, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Two thirds of children living in poverty are in working families, according to the research. While in some areas, over half of children are living in poverty.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “These shameful figures are certainly shocking but sadly do not come as a surprise for those families in my constituency who struggle every day to make ends meet.
“Child poverty can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the lives of those affected, from restricting a child’s chances of doing well at school and finding well-paid work to decreasing the possibility of a healthy and happy life.
“We need to invest in our children, but instead the Tory government have systematically shrunk our social security system to a point where it will be £36 billion per year worse off by 2021.
“And it’s those with the least that are bearing the brunt of it, as we see at Batley Food Bank week in, week out.
“The Labour party would end austerity, overhaul our deeply flawed social security system and make tackling child poverty the urgent priority it needs to be.
“The talent and potential of a whole generation is at risk of going to waste if we do not act fast.”
The research also shows that 500,000 more children are now living in poverty since the Conservatives came into power in 2010.
It comes as the thinktank IPPR North also released a study which says that a total one in four workers across the north of England are paid less than the ‘Real Living Wage’ of £9 an hour in what the organisation is calling a “jobs quality crisis”.