Child Poverty In Kent

New figures show around one in five children in Kent is living in poverty.

The statistics come from The Campaign to End Child Poverty which is warning that targeting Government cuts at families will lead to an "economic and social disaster".

It classes children living in poverty as those are from families whose income is less than 60% of the UK average. At below 60% of the average, families struggle to meet basic needs like food, heating, transport, clothing, school equipment and trips.

The report said: "The poverty line means that, after housing costs, all the household bills and family's spending needs will need to be met by around £12 or less per family member per day.

"For many families, especially those reliant on out of work benefits, it can be substantially less.''

In Kent, the worst areas are highlighted as Sittingbourne and Sheppey and North Thanet where 23% of youngsters are in homes which fall into this category.

While Tonbridge and Malling (10%), Tunbridge Wells and Sevenaoks (both 11%) have the lowest levels in the county.

Nationally Tower Hamlets in London has been named as the worst affected local authority, with more than half (52%) of children there living in poverty.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty report warns that the tax and benefit changes which were outlined in the recent Autumn Statement showed the greater burden was being placed on the poorest, which "not only puts children's wellbeing at risk, it carries economic risks too.

"Child poverty already costs the UK economy around £25 billion a year; any rise in child poverty will push up this cost.''

The Institute for Fiscal Studies recently warned that a couple with two children will be £1,250 a year worse off by 2015 as families "shoulder the burden of austerity''.

It has been predicted that the number of children in poverty before housing costs are taken into account could rise from 2.5 million in 2010/11 to 3.3 million by 2020/21.