• Saturday, June 25, 2022

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More than half of UK’s black children live in poverty, research shows

In UK, black children are now twice as likely to grow up poor as white children. (iStock Image)

By: Sattwik Biswal

MORE than half of black children in the UK are growing up in poverty, data of an official analysis has found.

The research done by Labour party says black children are now twice as likely to grow up poor as white children. The findings were based on government figures for households that have a “relative low income”.

Over the last decade, the total number of black children in poor households have doubled, with proportion of black children living in poverty going up from 42 per cent in 2010-11 to 53 per cent in 2019-20.

The figures and details of the research were released to the Guardian by the Labour party, which described them as evidence of “Conservative incompetence and denialism about the existence of structural racism”.

In order to tackle structural racism, Labour leader Keir Starmer said his party is committed to passing a new race equality act if elected.

The figures were obtained from the Department for Work and Pensions’ reports on households below average income with population statistics.

The research done by the Labour party covered nine categories and it said Bangladeshi children were the poorest, with 61 per cent living in poor households.

While the figures for other groups were: Pakistani children (55%); black African or Caribbean or black British (53%); other ethnicity (51%); other Asian (50%); mixed ethnicity (32%); Indian (27%); white (26%); and Chinese (12%).

In 2010-11, 61 per cent of Bangladeshi children were living in poor households – exactly the same figure as at the end of the decade.

However, for Indian children the chances of living in a poor household have fallen from 34 per cent a decade ago to 27 per cent. For Chinese children, the figure has fallen from 47 per cent to 12 per cent.

But for white children, it has risen from 24 per cent to 26 per cent; for Pakistani children, it has gone up from 50 per cent to 55 per cent; and for black children it has increased from 42 per cent to 53 per cent.

As per the figures, overall, 27 per cent of all children were living in poor households in 2010-11; the latest figure is 31 per cent.

Anneliese Dodds, the shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, whose office produced the figures, said the Conservatives should be ashamed of what they revealed.

“There is little wonder that child poverty has skyrocketed over the last decade when Conservative ministers have done so little to tackle the structural inequalities driving it,” she was quoted as saying.

She added: “Conservative incompetence and denialism about the existence of structural racism are driving black children into poverty. Labour has a plan to lift them out of it, with a new race equality act to tackle structural racial inequality at source.”

In response to Labour claims, a government spokesperson highlighted separate figures.

The spokesperson said: “The latest official figures show there were 300,000 fewer children of all backgrounds in poverty after housing costs than in 2010 and we continue to provide extensive support to reduce this number further.

“This includes putting £1,000 more per year on average into the pockets of the lowest earners through changes to universal credit, increasing the minimum wage next April to £9.50 per hour and helping with the cost of fuel bills.”

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