One in four children live below poverty line in Manchester, say university experts

More than one in four children are living in poverty in Greater Manchester, according to shocking figures produced by university experts.

Academics at the University of Manchester gathered the findings through a new monitor which uses data from 18 different sources to paint a picture of the harsh reality of deprivation in the region.

The monitor includes a set of interactive charts and maps and is accompanied by a report detailing experiences of poverty from the perspectives of those affected by it.

Neil McInroy, chair of the GMPAG said: “Poverty is a scourge and this new monitor and accompanying research tells us it’s not going away. Indeed in some aspects it is getting worse. 

“Some of this is down to central government cuts, but all of us across the public, private and social sectors in Greater Manchester can do more.

“Local leaders must make sure that economic growth and job creation are specifically designed to help those living in poverty in the region. We know that the link between economic growth and rising living standards is broken, so we need to do more than just create economic growth for its own sake.

“We’d like to see a greater emphasis on poverty across Greater Manchester, with the Combined Authority upping the ante on poverty and challenging central government for more powers and resources to tackle it.”

The Greater Manchester Poverty monitor also found that the city region lags behind both the North West and England.

The research also questions beliefs that a job is the quickest route out of poverty and shows that in-work poverty is also a major problem in parts of the region, despite an economic boost in recent years.

According to the monitor, 22.6% of households in Greater Manchester claim housing benefit compares with 19% in England as a whole and 9% of the city’s economically active were unemployed, which has risen by 3% since 2007.

The number of Job Seekers Allowance claimants sanctioned in the city in April 2004 was also considerably more than the national average.

According to the research, Oldham and Rochdale had the highest share of working households on low income in 2012 and Wigan, Salford and Bolton saw unemployment figures rise despite the economy being on the up.

Image courtesy of Nick Page, with thanks.

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