Poverty Is Closer Than You Think
I was saddened to find how bad the statistics regarding children in poverty are – particularly with children around our area.
In an interview with the MEN, MP Tony Lloyd said “We know Manchester Central has long been one of the poorest parts of Britain. In the Seventies and Eighties, the area was devastated by unemployment and child poverty has come out of this.”
A number of areas in Manchester have a shockingly high proportion of children living in income deprived households. According to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Indices of Deprivation Affecting Children 2007, in Bradford, Harpurhey and Hulme, 99% of children are living in poverty.
We literally have poverty on our doorsteps, and the financial climate isn’t looking to improve in the near future.
|Ward||Council||% children in poverty|
|Central and Falinge||Rochdale||97|
|Beswick and Clayton||Manchester||85|
The effects of poverty can be more long term and serious than having to cut back on the luxuries in life. Here are some of the sad facts highlighted by the charity organisation End Child Poverty:
- Poverty shortens lives. A boy in Manchester can expect to live seven years less than a boy in Barnet. A girl in Manchester can expect to live six years less than a girl in Kensington Chelsea and Westminster.
- Poor children are born too small; birth weight is on average 130 grams lower in children from social classes IV and V. Low birth weight is closely associated with infant death and chronic diseases in later life.
- Poverty shapes children’s development. Before reaching his or her second birthday, a child from a poorer family is already more likely to show a lower level of attainment than a child from a better-off family. By the age of six a less able child from a rich family is likely to have overtaken an able child born into a poor family.
- Children aged up to 14 from unskilled families are 5 times more likely to die in an accident than children from professional families, and 15 times more likely to die in a fire at home.
- Children growing up in poverty are more likely to leave school at 16 with fewer qualifications.
- 2% of couples and 8% of lone parents cannot afford two pairs of shoes for each child.
- 12% of lone parents cannot afford celebrations with presents at special occasions. Mark Family and Children Study, 2004