Campaigners are calling on the Government to take action on child poverty as new figures revealed that Ladywood, in Birmingham, was the poorest constituency in the country.
The city is home to three of the country’s poorest constituencies, according to The Campaign to End Child Poverty.
The UK’s largest coalition of children’s charities have organised Poverty 20 (P20), around the same time as the G20 summit, to highlight to the Government that addressing child poverty issues should begin closer to home.
The group has published figures indicating rates of child poverty in UK parliamentary constituencies, local authorities and wards.
The results revealed Ladywood was the least wealthy region, with 81 per cent of families on a low income, 36 per cent living on working class credits and almost half of adults living in the ward unemployed. Sparkbrook, Small Heath and Hodge Hill were also in the top ten of the most deprived wards in the country and had high levels of child poverty.
Ladywood’s MP Clare Short said the Government’s response to the global crisis should include helping children.
She said: “Britain should use the G20 meeting to call for a worldwide effort to counter the recession by improving the lives of poor children.
“This should be followed by a big boost for poor families in Britain in the Budget. It could be paid for by a special tax on the excessive income of the bankers who have, by their greed, wrecked the global economy.”
Hilary Fisher, director of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, added: “We’re deliberately drawing attention to the fact that, at a time when the G20 richest nations are meeting to bail out the world’s richest economies, there are still children suffering terrible hardship in this country’s 20 poorest constituencies.
“That’s why we’re calling our campaign the P20.”
The Campaign to End Child Poverty defines child poverty as families living on less than £10 per person per day and said thousands of people fitted this criteria in the UK.
The organisations included in the coalition have called on the Government to invest £3 billion in tax credits and benefits.
Ms Fisher added: “Children are our future and the Government should not forget families while it takes action to stabilise the world’s financial markets.
“Research has shown children in poverty-stricken families have a significantly restricted life, higher infant mortality rates and lower life expectancy and do not have the same opportunities as others and therefore can become socially excluded.”