Local child poverty increases

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Rye's latest freeman Chris Emson receiving a generous donation from Jempson's for the Food Bank

New research by Loughborough University, published on October 14, shows that child poverty in two parts of Sussex, the constituencies of Hastings & Rye and Eastbourne, is among the worst in the south of England.

According to government figures covering up to 2019, 37.8% of children in Hastings and Rye are in poverty-stricken families, equivalent to very nearly two in five of all those aged 16 or under.

The research was carried out by Dr Juliet Stone and Professor Donald Hirsch at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, using ‘Before Housing Cost’ data produced by the Department for Work and Pensions in March 2020, together with housing cost data from the Valuation Office Agency and income data from the Understanding Society survey.

The report and data is available at endchildpoverty.org.uk

Note that the total number of children in poverty shown in the data tables only includes those aged under 16 and is therefore lower than in the main poverty statistics, which also includes 16-19 year olds in full-time secondary education.

And housing costs on increase

In the past in more rural areas like Rye, low incomes were counteracted by cheaper housing costs, but during the five years leading up to 2018/19, rents have risen by the same amount as in London, so in Rye and district where incomes are being depressed, there is no offset by falling relative housing costs.

Many local families find that, once their housing costs are paid, they do not have enough money to meet their children’s needs and are left no option but to turn to crisis help, like Rye’s food bank, and are increasingly reliant on free school meals.

Please consider adding your signature to a petition aimed at asking the government to avoid the prospect of a record need for food banks this winter  https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/don-t-cut-universal-credit-lifeline.

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .

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