Local parliamentary candidate Cat Smith has expressed her concern at figures exposing the extent of child poverty in the area. The figures produced by the End Child Poverty campaign show that across the Lancaster and Fleetwood Parliamentary constituency there are 2,716 children living in in-work poverty and 1,447 in out of-work poverty.
In Fleetwood all the wards have a figure of child poverty higher than the constituency average. Rossall is the area with the highest levels of poverty in the constituency with 40.56% of children in the area living in poverty after housing costs are taken into account. In Mount the figure is 37.28%, in Pharos it is 35.39% and in Park it is 33.26% and Warren 25.34%.
Whilst in Lancaster the areas have lower rates of child poverty, the figures are still shocking. In Castle the figure of 26.73% of children in the area living in poverty after housing costs are taken into account, places the ward above the constituency average.
After housing costs are taken into account 24.81 % of children living in Lancaster and Fleetwood live in poverty.
Speaking on the subject Cat Smith said, “The last Labour Government made real progress in reducing poverty across the United Kingdom taking 1.5 million children out of absolute poverty. Sadly this progress has stalled since the current Government took office and we can now see the devastating impact that this has had on children in North Lancashire. This can come as little surprise. The IFS has shown that a key reason why poverty fell between 1997 and 2010 was increased investment in social security measures such as tax credits. These troubling figures are therefore an inevitable consequence of this Government’s austerity measures such as the bedroom tax and 1% uprating cap on a range of both in and out of work benefits.”