CPAG child poverty research press release

National research has found that Sheffield is losing rougly £265 million every year due to the impact of child poverty [1]. This is made up of:
 
  • £137 million spent on services to deal with consequences of child poverty, such as social services, special education, police and criminal justice;
  • £18 million spent on benefits for people spending more time out of work as a result of having grown up in poverty;
  • £32 million lost in tax receipts from people earning less as a result of having grown up in poverty;
  • £78 million lost to individuals in net earnings (after paying tax).
 
The research was carried out by Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University and detailed in a new report on how local authorities are trying to tackle child poverty at a time of social security cuts and upheaval, commissioned by the Child Poverty Action Group. Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: “We always put our children first in family life, and it’s right that we should do so in our local communities too. Every council is required by law to have a local child poverty strategy, and the good news is that reducing child poverty benefits everyone by cutting the costs to local authority services and boosting the local economy through improved skills and qualifications for school leavers.”
 
The report follows research earlier this year on the numbers of children who are in poverty [2] and builds on groundbreaking research into the national impact of child poverty by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation [3].
 
Jason Leman of the Sheffield Equality Group said “The impact of poverty on families has long been known. Some people get through it alright and keep on their feet, but for others being unemployed causes depression, marital splits, and health problems. Working in a low paid job can cause huge stress on relationships and family life. While adults can recover, for kids to not be cared for or not feel safe in their own home can affect them for life. Studies have proved we are born equal but by the age of seven poverty destroys the potential of many kids, from poor diet and stress harming brain development to simply not feeling they have a lot to be proud of.”
 
“At the moment we are seeing support for low-income families in Sheffield falling, with childrens’ services lost and benefits like working-families tax credit cut. This research underlines that this is likely to just cost us all more in the long run. Much more could be done to provide a way into a job or role in life that gives hope to people who are struggling. Much more could be done to support families and help kids fulfil their potential. This research shows that every effort made to tackle child poverty is well worth it.”
 
 
Notes for Editors:
 
Sheffield Equality Group is a non-party-political group affiliated to the Equality Trust (www.equalitytrust.org.uk)
 

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