Tower Hamlets top of child poverty figures

By Louisa Emery on February 26, 2013 4:52 PM |

wharflandscape.jpgClose to half the children in Tower Hamlets are living below the poverty line according to figures released this week by the Campaign to End Child Poverty.

The borough topped findings with 42 per cent of young people considered to be among the poorest in the country.

Six of the 20 most deprived local authorities in the UK were in London with Newham placed third highest in the capital and 13th nationwide with 32 per cent.

Labour MP for East Ham Stephen Timms warned government reforms due to come into effect this year would only fuel the crisis.

"These figures make depressing reading," he said.

"This Government said it supported the legally binding targets to reduce child poverty. But it has been doing the opposite.

"The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, which is going through Parliament at the moment, will, on its own, increase child poverty across the country by 200,000."

Bethnal Green and Bow and Poplar and Limehouse were among the 10 constituencies found to have the highest level of child poverty.

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Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali said: "Labour's proposal to reintroduce a 10p tax rate, paid for by a mansion tax on the wealthiest properties, would benefit thousands of low paid families in my constituency."

The Campaign to End Child Poverty is an action group containing more than 150 member organisations, established in 2003 to end child poverty by 2010.

Its chairman Enver Solomon said: "Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make.

"We're calling on authorities to prioritise low income families in the decisions about welfare spending, including spending on the Council Tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by a bedroom tax.

"The Government must also examine its strategy for reducing poverty and consider what more it could do to ensure children's lives are not blighted by the corrosive impact that poverty has on their daily existence.''