According to a new report by the End Child Poverty (ECP) coalition, 25% children in Kent are living in poverty.
The worst affected area is South Thanet, where 33.6% of children (7,030) were living in a very low-income home in December 2015.
The lowest poverty ranking in Kent is in the Tonbridge and Malling local authority, where 17.33% children (3,975) are classified as growing up in poverty.
The figures take into account a family’s remaining pay after housing costs.
Relative poverty in the UK (also called relative low income) is defined as a total household income that is less than 60% of the national household income, which is currently £26,000. These figures are adjusted to take into account the different numbers of people living in a household.
As a result of the rising cost of living and cuts to in- and out-of-work benefits made since 2010, the number of children in absolute poverty – otherwise known as the minimum acceptable standard of living – has increased by 0.5 million. The Institute for Fiscal Studies have estimated that the number of children in relative poverty will rise from 3.6m today to 4.3 million by 2020.
Sam Royston, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said:
“As the Prime Minister has rightly recognised, this is not a country that works for everyone. In every community, there are children being denied the happy childhoods and the good start in life other children take for granted. Our children are twice as likely to be poor as our pensioners.
“Families who are just about managing today, won’t be managing tomorrow if Universal Credit leaves them with fewer pounds in their pocket and if inflation means the pounds in their pocket don’t stretch as far as they used to.
“This month’s Autumn Statement is a major opportunity for the new government to act to help these families. We urge the Chancellor to reverse the significant cuts to Universal Credit targeted at working families and, at the very least, shield children’s benefits from inflation.”
The full report on local child poverty figures can be downloaded here.