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A quarter of Erith and Thamesmead children below poverty line

PUBLISHED: 17:31 20 February 2013 | UPDATED: 13:49 22 February 2013

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce

Archant

A quarter of children in Erith and Thamesmead are living below the poverty line, according to figures released today comparing wealth levels across the country

This is above the nationwide and Bexley-wide averages - the former being 20 per cent compared to 15 per cent across Bexley as a borough.

That is compared to 16 per cent in the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and just nine per cent in Old Bexley and Sidcup.

Those below the poverty line are defined as living in a household where the total earnings amount to just 60 per cent of the national average.

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce said: “I am horrified that a quarter of children in my constituency are living in poverty. Welfare and benefit cuts are only starting to hit many families that are already struggling to survive.

“The government must go back to its child poverty strategy. It’s crucial that more children’s lives are not blighted by hunger and the fact that many parents are unable to afford basic necessities like clothes and school equipment.”

The figures come from a report produced by campaign group End Child Poverty which takes into consideration aspects like skipping meals, not replacing outgrown clothes, missing school trips and parents having to borrow to make ends meet.

The report says that being poor damages childhood and harms children’s future prospects.

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