New independent figures show the true extent of child poverty in Sheffield, with almost one child in three living below the poverty line.
The data, released by the End Child Poverty campaign and the Child Poverty Action Group, shows over 30,000 children in Sheffield live below 60% of the median household income – £248 per week. The rates range across the city, as high as 40% in Brightside and Hillsborough, but even in Sheffield Hallam, with the fourth lowest rate in the country, over 1,700 children live in poverty.
There are some places in Britain where child poverty now hits over half of families, and rising inflation is eating away further and further at incomes due to higher prices. Meanwhile, the cost of credit imposes a poverty premium meaning poorer families pay more for the same goods and services than richer ones.
Labour in Government took hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty, and improved quality of life for working families with programmes like SureStart and Building Schools for the Future. These have now been cut to shreds by eight years of Conservative rule and the cost is beginning to show.
In Sheffield we have not even had the full rollout of Universal Credit, which has so far caused financial chaos for families in areas where it’s been implemented. The Government needs to pause and fix it as a priority, and look at investing in interest-free credit to ensure poverty doesn’t mean spiralling debt.