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Benefit cuts blamed for 3,900,000 British children living below the poverty line


The UK Poverty 2023 report has revealed one in four children are unable to meet their minimum needs (Picture: PA)

The UK Poverty 2023 report has revealed one in four children are unable to meet their minimum needs (Picture: PA)

Almost 4million British children are living in poverty, a charity’s report has revealed – with benefit cuts blamed.

The 3.9million youngsters – one in four – are among 13.4million people who can’t meet their minimum needs, said the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Its UK Poverty 2023 report warned the end of the pandemic’s £20 Universal Credit uplift worsened difficulties.

It found last April saw the biggest fall in the value of benefits since 1972, as they have risen just 3.1 per cent despite soaring bills and double-digit inflation.

Some 7.2million people have foregone basics such as meals, showers and heat, as life expectancy is at its lowest since 2011 in England’s most deprived areas.

‘This winter we have seen two crises collide – the cost of living is forcing families to cut back on essentials and our health service is being overwhelmed,’ said JRF chief analyst Peter Matejic.

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‘Leaving people to go hungry, skip showers or live in cold homes risks further profound consequences.

‘The standard rates of social security are fundamentally not fit for purpose.’

Dr Mary Bousted, of the National Education Union, said the ‘harrowing’ data shows ‘the scale of hardship inflicted on families by this government’s economic policies’. The government said: ‘We recognise families across the country are facing financial pressures… that’s why we are committed to halving inflation this year.’ It added its support has included a £26billion package, energy cost help and free school meals.

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