One in two children in Tower Hamlets are being raised in poor conditions, making it the borough with the highest rate of child poverty in the UK, new figures have shown.
According to the latest End Child Poverty report, this constitutes an increase in child poverty levels in the borough of 7 per cent from 2013. Hackney is the second borough with the highest rates of children living in families struggling below the poverty line (41 per cent).
The top two most deprived constituencies in the UK are in Tower Hamlets, where Bethnal Green, Bow, Poplar and Limehouse all reach record levels of 49 per cent. Hackney South and Shoreditch follow not far behind, with 42 per cent.
Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said in response to the figures: “Supporting vulnerable children and their families is one of my top priorities and we continue to work with our partners in tackling child poverty. In light of central government cuts, we must work even harder to ensure our services reach those who need them most.”
Rushanara Ali, Labour MP said: “This government has allowed child poverty to reach crisis point. When almost half of the children in Bethnal Green and Bow are condemned to a childhood of poverty, it is clear that this Government has failed to fulfil its basic responsibility to provide for our children and young people.”
The report, published last week, showed that 30 per cent of children in Britain are living in poverty and campaigners are urging politicians to do something about it, in the hope that the government will achieve their target of eliminating poverty by 2020.
David Holmes, chair of the campaign ECP said: “These figures reveal just how widely and deeply child poverty reaches into our communities, even those areas generally regarded as well off. Far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living are suffering as a result and missing out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to. We can and must do better for our children.
“Poverty ruins childhoods and reduces life chances. Failing to invest properly in children is a false economy.”