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Mersey child poverty costs close to a billion

Figure set to spiral in capital of hardship

Published on August 5th 2013.

Mersey child poverty costs close to a billion

THE cost of child poverty across Merseyside has hit almost £1bn, according to a new report by a campaigning charity. 

The review, by the Child Poverty Action Group, revealed that the cost of child poverty to Liverpool City Region was revealed to be £968 million – and owing to tax and benefit changes, there is every indication that the totals will rise. 


The figure equates to £10,856 for every child in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.

It was arrived at by adding up the costs of housing benefits, tax credits and free school meals for children living below the breadline. An implied extra cost to the NHS has also been factored in as children in low-income families are less likely to be healthy. 

Liverpool slum children of the 1900s. A century later could they soon take on a look of familiarity?Liverpool slum children of
the 1900s. A century
later could they soon
take on a look of familiarity?
The report ‘Local Authorities and Child Poverty – balancing threats with opportunities’ estimates the cost to every local authority and constituency in the UK. 

Independent forecasters, such as the influential Institute for Fiscal Studies, predict the number of children and young living in poverty will increase. 

Birkenhead MP Frank Field, chairman of the region’s Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission, pointed out that some areas of the region have recently experienced a 120 percent leap in the number of families attending food banks. 

He said: “It’s not enough to just support each child, we need to help raise family incomes, too.

"This dual focus must be maintained if we are to avoid the pernicious impacts of poverty.” 

One third of Liverpool children live in poverty, the highest proportion in the UK, according to the most recent CPAG figures. In Knowsley the figure is 32 per cent, with high numbers in Halton (27 per cent), Wirral (25 per cent) and St Helens (25 per cent).

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34 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

HenryAugust 5th 2013.

One third of children in Liverpool live in poverty. Really? My daughter hails from Zambia where poverty means exactly that - literally nothing, no money, no food, no state handout. Poverty here is a life of luxury millions can only dream of.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
RhetoricAugust 5th 2013.

That's not really the point is it? that's like saying we all grew up in a shoebox on the motorway so you should be grateful that you don't.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2013.

Hear hear, Rhet!

AnonymousAugust 5th 2013.

You cannot compare Zambia to the country with the fifth largest economy in the world. Such facile comments as Henry's are a stupid defence of cruel inequality within this country, something that ought not exist in a rich, Western country.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2013.

Henry's point may be indelicately put, but it is hardly 'facile'. If you for one second mull on the benefits of being a citizen of this nation: eg. Access to free education, public transport system, welfare state and the glorious nhs, it cannot be described as 'facile' to suggest that the word 'poverty' is vulnerable to overuse. Like is said below; organising for change is the solution for both here and abroad.

John ShawAugust 5th 2013.

Poverty is obviously relative to wherever one lives, it's not that you can make comparisons, but I can see the point "there's always someone worse off in the World we live in". The disadvantaged in society suffer most, unfortunately they are in no position to influence the outcome, the people who are in positions to influence the situation, choose not to. They are too busy looking after number one.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2013.

One kind of poverty is not better or worse than another. Poverty is relative to where one lives and let us not forget the invisible poverty which is poverty of spirit. Just spend some time in Broadway in Norris Green, around Speke or Huyton or Everton where babies are born with no hope - where happiness and a life of fulfillment is something they grow up perceiving only on billboards, something that they have no right to.

Leon KayAugust 5th 2013.

Back to the thirties then no shoes no hope no money no food and keep doffing your hat to God Queen and country of and the BULLINGDON lot not forgetting that asshole IDS the quiet man of the gestapo.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jack BootAugust 6th 2013.

Well he certainly can't be the brains...

John ShawAugust 5th 2013.

Did poverty ever go away, I think not. It's always been present. The perception that it didn't exist was false, the poverty of spirit is a widening gulf, one that desperately needs addressing, without hope we are fighting a losing battle.

SaladDazeAugust 7th 2013.

Whatever... this is one of the few times in recent history when a government has, as a deliberate act of policy, punished poor people for the incompetence and greed of rich people whilst at the same time rewarding those same incompetents. Poverty in Zambia is unwarranted but caused by the same corruption and exploitation which is part of public life here. In Zambia all the factors that make nations wealthy are present; and all the conditions that make nations poor are fairly non-existent. In spite of that, the nation is still poor and struggling. We don't just accept the awfulness - in Lusaka or Liscard - we organise for change.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Fairy NuffAugust 7th 2013.

Well said, not so dazed salad.

Judith PattersonAugust 7th 2013.

Its unbelieveable to here of poverty in Liverpool.Mind you if the wages were a lot better.Here of managereal positions same as joe blogs, and less.I don't know how people do it.The Government need to cut their own salery and do something about the wages for employment.Make it just all round EngishFree of outsider like americans, regardless of who they are married to, and australians.The only way to get ahead. Former liverpudlians to come back and sort things out as well, and stay, show the liverpdulian spirit, COME TOGETHER.I love Liverpool and what it stands for, do something.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2013.

What a fine, well reasoned and logical post. Congratulations Judith on your analysis

HenryAugust 8th 2013.

The hand-wringers are out in force I see. So how many kids have you ever seen genuinely have no shoes to wear in this city? The only time I saw it was for the World In Action TV programme and it was all concoted iby locals in a Seaforth pub. Btw Zambia is a progressive country not a total bushland but no one gets a free house and meals - and if they did they wouldnt complain about it like some of you lot.

HenryAugust 8th 2013.

No hope in Norris Green and Huyton? At least everyone has access to free education - the single biggest tool to get on. Try telling that to millions of Africans - theyd take youre right arm off. Here its a culture of handouts and sheer laziness.

1 Response: Reply To This...
EdwardAugust 8th 2013.

How do you know? is everyone the same in Africa? people are all different the world over. You have a very polarised view

Nuff SaidAugust 8th 2013.

There's a hole in my bucket dear Henry, Africa is awash with precious metals the ordinary people don't derive any benefit from, nor ever will. Overseas aid is handed out for despots to feather their own nests, likewise the populace will never benefit. I've worked in Africa so I have some idea, incidentally no-one has ever given us British anything for free. There are lots of us who have worked a lifetime and never got anywhere near what the well heeled received. The same scenario exists in most countries, you get "haves" and "have-nots" throughout the world. Look at China, wait till the yen drops and it dawns on the masses that the vast majority of them are disproportionately disadvantaged.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 8th 2013.

I think you're getting close to my view on this. Africa has gold, silver, diamonds, oil and massive amounts of minerals and other resources, but until the corrupt dictators and thugs who run much of the continent are deposed, nothing will change. I call it Africa Fatigue, and I have it upto the eyeballs

HenryAugust 8th 2013.

I dont disagree with the above comments on Africa's natural resources and corruption but you can hardly blame children who dont have access to education. I live on an estate and my son has taken his chance at the educational opportunity offered while many others have whined woe is me and hung around the streets causing trouble. Ive no sympathy with these losers whatsoever.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 8th 2013.

No Henry, you are blaming the children of this country in a completely sweeping way. Nobody disputes that Africans have their own poverty problems and, as stated above, there are many reasons for this: inequality that, like here, stems from greed - the haves and the have-nots. Then you go into this whole Daily Mail rubbish about kids hanging out on streets causing trouble and destroy any credibility for your argument. Black and white, north and south

Nuff SaidAugust 8th 2013.

There are currently lots of young people with worthy qualifications who are unemployed. I am cynical of a system that encourages the youth of today to undertake the millstone of debt to further their ambitions, when they have little or no chance of getting employment in the provinces. Access to University is not free, easy enough for the wealthy, not so the working classes or the disenfranchised. A system where education is free north of the border and is free some eighteen miles from this city. The "haves" are secure in the knowledge that "Daddy" will have networked his colleagues so that Toby and Amanda have the best start in life. These "losers" are in a downward spiral because of circumstance, there but for the grace of God go many of us.

AnonymousAugust 9th 2013.

I am afraid. Henry and his careless language is doing the people of Africa no service at all

Nuff SaidAugust 9th 2013.

Strangely enough, contemporaries of mine always state, "We knew no difference", when talking of poverty, "We were all in the same boat". We were happy in our ignorance, there wasn't the same focus on education. Most of us never aspired to the higher echelons of academia. We were grateful that war had finished. It was 1953 before ration books bit the dust. There was light at the end of the tunnel. Unlike now for many, scepticism and despair seem to be the order of the day, we're witnessing the ravages and destruction that drug culture has brought to our shores. It is to be hoped that the peoples of Africa are spared the same fate. famine and Aids are enough to be contending with for now. Education brings it's own problems Henry.

HenryAugust 12th 2013.

Daily Mail rubbish indeed. Some lovely darlings put a brick through my car window last week and a few months ago someone else slashed all the tyres. This is local so called children.You either live in an ivory tower or want to get out more. As i married into an African family I think I know a sight more than any of you lot.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyAugust 12th 2013.

What makes you think it was kids?

Just williamAugust 12th 2013.

Very good point

Fairy NuffAugust 12th 2013.

You seem to know a sight more about anti-social behaviour than the rest of us. I once looked out of my bedroom window, there were two chaps robbing my front gates at 04:00AM, I never said anything in case they took offence.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 12th 2013.

I had the same trouble last time I went camping. Two blokes on the pitch opposite eyeing up my car all night long. They were loitering within tent

AnonymousAugust 12th 2013.

I've had to cut back to four holidays a year and some nights we have to eat at home.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Lord SnootyAugust 13th 2013.

Always look on the bright side of life. De dum de dum de dum etc.

HenryAugust 12th 2013.

Because I know who is responsible. However the police response these days is that unless you have a level of evidence required by a court of law then they wont even speak to those involved in case they get accused of harassment. It was some boys I asked my sons not to associate with. This is the result; three years of hell.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyAugust 13th 2013.

You don't say how you "know".

Her BennyAugust 14th 2013.

We seem to have to have digressed from the subject.

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