UK – PSE reports paints a picture of growing deprivation for UK children

Life chances for children diminished, says CPAG

In its first published report ‘The Impoverishment of the UK’ Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) finds that a growing number of British children are not being properly fed and are living in damp housing which their parents cannot afford to heat.

According to the report:

  • Around 4 million children and adults are not properly fed by today’s standards.
  • Around 2.5 million children live in homes that are damp.
  • Around 1.5 million children live in households that cannot afford to heat their home.
  • More children are lacking clothing necessities than in 1999.

The PSE approach, now adopted by the UK Government and by a growing number of rich and developing countries, identifies people falling below a publicly-determined minimum standard of living. This method of measuring poverty was pioneered in 1983 and repeated in studies in 1990, 1999, 2002/03 and 2012 allowing trends over 30 years to be tracked.

Today 33% of the UK population suffers from multiple deprivation by the standards set by the public. It was 14% in 1983.

Joanna Mack from The Open University, who, with Stewart Lansley, devised the study method in 1983, said:

“Levels of deprivation today are worse in a number of vital areas, from basic housing to key social activities, than at any point in the past 30 years’, . ‘These trends are a deeply shocking indictment of 30 years of economic and social policy and reflect a rapid growth in inequality. This has meant that, though the economy has doubled in size during this period, those at the bottom have been increasingly left behind.”

Responding to the findings, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), said:

“This is a landmark study; the largest and most authoritative study on poverty and deprivation conducted in the UK. At nearly every turn it paints a grim picture of an enormous rise in child poverty and deprivation that is sending the living standards of huge numbers of children spiralling downwards.

“This is not only shocking and dangerous in public policy terms, but also a catastrophe for the childhoods and life chances of so many of our children.

“Those at the top had the boom, but it’s those at the bottom being made to suffer the bust. This bang-up-to-date survey shows the on-the-ground reality of austerity policies which are hitting the poorest hardest.”

The report can be accessed from from the link below

 

SOURCE: Poverty and Social Exclusion

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