Child poverty will only get worse

End Child Poverty is a coalition of more than 100 organisations from across civic society who have come together with one purpose - to campaign for an end to child poverty in the UK.

This week, the coalition has published new figures revealing the number of children living in poverty in every part of the country.

The figures show that more than 3 and a half million children live in poverty across the UK. However, in some parts of the country, child poverty rates are shockingly high - nearly half of children live in poverty in some places.

Behind these figures are real children's lives. Children living in families who struggle to put food on the table, or to heat the home through the winter. Children who are less likely to do well at school because they can't afford the same books and activities as their peers. Children who are more likely than other children to develop mental health problems. Children who are even likely to live less long than their peers - simply because of their background.

This is the stark reality of poverty, and it is set to get worse. Benefits and tax credits for children have been frozen for a four- year period, meaning that they will see no increases right up to the year 2020. By this point, increases in costs of living will mean the cash in people's pockets will go even less far than it does today.

For too many families, a move into employment will not save them from poverty - around two thirds of children in poverty are now living in working families. Again, reductions in support are set to make this problem worse. In particular, recent cuts to so called "work allowances" under the new Universal Credit, reduced the support provided to many low income working families by several hundred pounds through the new benefit.

Later this month, when he delivers his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor will face his first major test of whether he will reach out to help families living in poverty. End Child Poverty is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children's benefits, and reverse the cuts in in-work support under Universal Credit.

Children shouldn't face a lottery on their life chances: who their parents are and where they grow up should not determine what kind of life they can have. Campaign with End Child Poverty to help ensure that in future, no child faces the kind of disadvantage that blights the lives of so many today.

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