I was appalled to see that the figures show that, after housing costs, child poverty had risen to 37.2% in my constituency of Sheffield Central in 2018/19, although it reflects the reports I’ve received from schools, foodbanks and community workers. This is a sharp increase from 31.8% in 2014/15 and means 1,004 more children living in poverty over a four-year period.
The figures are based on Department for Work and Pensions ‘Before Housing Cost’ local child poverty data, following research by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University and they show that across Sheffield as a whole, we’ve seen an increase of 5,301 more children living poverty.
Rather than voting against extending free school meals for the most vulnerable children over the holidays, the Government must recognise the scale of the problem and its impact on children’s lives. I have written to the Chancellor to urging him to set out an immediate plan to tackle these long-term trends in child poverty by focusing not only social security spending, but on the high cost of housing and childcare, and the need for investment in children’s services.
You can read this letter here: