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Child poverty a ‘major problem’ for East Staffordshire

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CHILDREN are being ‘trapped in poverty’ according to a prospective parliamentary candidate for Uttoxeter.

Jon Wheale’s comments followed the release of a report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission which found that 21 per cent of children will be in absolute poverty in 2020, compared to 17 per cent in 2010.

New food poverty figures showed 86 children from Burton and Uttoxeter were helped by emergency food parcels in May.

Mr Wheale said: “More and more children in Uttoxeter are being trapped in poverty rather than freed from its deeply damaging effects because this Government is failing to meet legally binding poverty goals.

“Children are suffering because the Government is targeting tax credits for families in low-paid work and children’s benefits instead of striving to restore them to the level they reached before the financial crisis.”

The commission stated in the report: “Our new research shows the gap between the objective of making child poverty history and the reality is becoming ever wider.”

In a key part of its report, the commission accused the Government of ignoring the impact of social security cuts which, according to Mr Wheale, are among the main reasons why so many children are victim to food poverty.

Andrew Griffiths, MP for Uttoxeter, said; “Unfortunately Mr Wheale seems to have got his facts wrong. The truth is that he talks about inequality, but figures prove that inequality is at its lowest since 1986 and there are 500,000 fewer people in relative poverty than in 2010.

“The best way to tackle poverty is to get people back into jobs, and this week we learned that unemployment has almost halved in Uttoxeter since I became the MP.”

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