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MP blasts government for failing South Lakeland's children

November 3, 2009 12:00 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today blasted the government for failing to bring more children from South Lakeland out of poverty.

Figures released today by the charity End Child Poverty show there has been a doubling of the number of people on Job Seekers Allowance in the area in the past year - pushing thousands of children across the South Lakes into poverty. Most families where both parents are out of work find themselves under the poverty line.

The report Through Thick and Thin highlights the fact that unemployment, and hence child poverty rates, have increased disproportionately in rural areas - meaning that child poverty can no longer be considered an issue confined to the inner cities.

Tim has also uncovered statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions that rural child poverty has shot up over recent years in the answer to a parliamentary question.

Recent statistics have shown that the Government's pledge to reduce child poverty by half from 2002 to 2010 will be missed, with over 600,000 children failing to make it out of the poverty trap.

Tim said:

"The news today is a tragedy for hundreds of local children who will now find themselves living below the poverty line. We know that their chances in health, education and the opportunities they have in life will be severely restricted.

"We owe it to these children to take immediate action by changing the benefits system and taking thousands of low income families out of paying tax. Children in poverty in the South Lakes need and deserve our help."