Tuesday, 28 June 2011

POVERTY: UK: 1.6m British Children In Extreme Poverty

June 18, 2011
A growing number of children in the UK are living in extreme poverty because of huge increases in the cost of energy, petrol and food, according to a leading charity.
Save the Children says the figure has risen to 1.6 million, with 290,000 in London.
The rising cost of living and a slow economic recovery has left thousands of families struggling to pay for even the basics.
A family of four has seen their weekly food bill of £100 increase by £5 since last year, according to the British Retail Consortium.
Gas prices are set to rise 19% from August
Julie Henry knows the real cost of rising food and fuel prices, with four hildren and just £108 a week in benefits to cover all the family bills.
She is constantly on the look out for bargains and sadly that means no money left to give the children treats.
She told Sky News: "Not everybody can go on holiday and it makes me feel guilty.
You have no choice but to eat and drink.
Harry Wallop, Consumer Editor of the Telegraph
"I already feel guilty for using the money to pay the bills, but already the rent and the bills in the house are big. Maybe in the future they (children) will go on holiday."
In May, petrol prices rose to a record 137p per litre for unleaded and 142p for diesel.
Scottish power recently revealed gas prices are expected to rise by 19% from August and electricity by 10% - with more suppliers expected to follow.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics shows a loaf of bread costs 50% more than five years ago, while butter is up 57.7% and milk 33%.
Rising cost of living has left many children living in severe poverty
Droughts across Britain and Europe are likely to make food even more expensive.
And the fall in the value of the pound means the cost of imported food and other products are also soaring.
Harry Wallop, Consumer Editor of the Daily Telegraph, said that while inflation is affecting everyone, it is hitting those on low incomes hardest.
Figures show the cost of a loaf of bread has doubled since 2006
"You have no choice but to eat and drink," he said
"So if you have a relatively small income because you've been made unemployed, you've not been paid well or you've suffered from a pay freeze, then obviously it's going to hit you harder."
Last year over 61,000 people across the UK turned to food banks for help.
The food parcels they are given have enough ingredients to make meals for three days.
Petrol rose to a record 137p per litre for unleaded in May
Daphine Aikens, who works at a West London Foodbank said: "We have had people say to us that it has made then, or made other people, turn to crime to get food.
"They get hungry, people who come here haven't eaten for a few days."We've seen people who have just been struggling so much that when we have given them the food, they have cried."


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