Steve Rotheram has condemned the scourge of child poverty as a new report reveals one in three children in the Liverpool City Region are living below the poverty line.
Research published by the End Child Poverty coalition, highlights how poverty is on the rise in deprived areas and points to severe real-terms cuts in benefits, the roll-out of Universal Credit and rising housing costs as being behind the rise.
The report also reveals that locally, one in three children are living in poverty, rising from one in four in 2014 – with communities such as Picton in Liverpool (where 49.9% of children are living in poverty) and Stockbridge Village in Knowsley (41.3%) particularly affected by child poverty.
|Local Authority||Children in poverty, before housing costs %||Children in poverty, after housing costs %|
|Liverpool City Region||26||31|
Responding to the report, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“It is devastating that one in three children in our city region are growing up in poverty, whilst some communities are so blighted that almost every other child is growing up below the poverty line.
“During a decade-long programme of cuts we have seen child poverty rise year-on-year. This is betraying a generation of young people and we cannot allow this level of want to become normalised.
“While we are doing good work locally to improve the life chances of those from disadvantaged backgrounds it is clear we are now facing a national crisis when it comes to child poverty.”
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is delivering a number of schemes to tackle poverty in the city region:
- £400 million already invested to create 9,000 jobs and 5,500 apprenticeships.
- Last year the Combined Authority launched the new £500 million Strategic Investment Fund, designed to transform the city region’s economy, creating high-quality jobs and boosting living standards for local people.
- The Strategic Investment Fund has made delivering local jobs, inclusive growth and positive social impacts – such as paying the Real Living Wage, using local suppliers and recognising trade unions – major factors in approving funding.
- The £8 million Households into Work programme is working with 800 long-term unemployed people across the city region to help remove the barriers they face in getting back into work.
- Established first Fairness and Social Justice Advisory Board to ensure those principles influence all of the Combined Authority’s policies and activities.
- In November 2018, the Combined Authority, along with bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach, provided 3000 bus tickets for local foodbanks to help those with the greatest transport needs.
- In January 2019, Steve Rotheram began developing a Fair Employment Charter for the Liverpool City Region to address issues such as rising in-work poverty and insecure employment.
- Long and medium-term projects, such as an ultra-fast digital network for the city region and a Mersey Tidal Project, to harness the power of the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay, have the potential to transform the Liverpool City Region economy and create thousands of high-quality jobs.