Child poverty figures. Shock report reveals Islington kids who live below breadline

Published on Islington Tribune, by ANDREW JOHNSON, January 13, 2012.

ALMOST half of all children in Islington are living in poverty, shocking new statistics reveal. Despite its reputation as the home of Britain’s upper-middle-class elite, the borough has the second highest level of childhood poverty in the country, with 43 per cent of its 37,000 children living below the breadline.  

Only Tower Hamlets fares worse, a report published on Tuesday by campaign group End Child Poverty says.

The Clerkenwell-based organisation is an umbrella group of children’s charities, trade unions and church groups.

Labour politicians reacted angrily to the report.

They argued that even more children could be affected as government limits on housing and other benefits take effect.

Tim Nichols, a spokesman for End Child Poverty, said the level of poverty was measured by the number of families whose income is less than 60 per cent of the national average … //

… The Town Hall’s Labour education chief, Councillor Richard Watts, described the figures as “awful” but said they were “not a surprise”.

He added that about 15,000 children lived in homes where there was no work.

“The big thing is to understand why poverty is so high in Islington – 90 per cent of the kids in poverty are in households where there is no work, which is 39 per cent of children in Islington,” he said.

“It’s a huge number and the highest in the country.

“So the key thing we have to do is help parents back into work when they’ve had kids.

There are things we are trying to do despite the cuts – the parent employee partnership between public sector employers to work together to find jobs.”

Caroline Allen, of Islington Green Party and a London Assembly candidate in this year’s elections, said: “Islington is known for its restaurants and café culture and, of course, as the home of Tony Blair and New Labour.

However, there has always been another side to Islington and what we have seen here is inequality spiralling out of control.”

But Town Hall Lib Dem group leader Councillor Terry Stacy hit back at Labour.

“The previous Labour government had 13 years to tackle child poverty and year after year it went up,” he said.

“It’s a bit rich of Emily Thornberry and her colleagues to complain about it.

While Labour Islington are giving free school meals to the children of millionaires we think that money is better spent on tackling child poverty.” (full text).


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