• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why are child poverty levels in the UK so high?

Extracts from this document...


Why are child poverty levels in the UK so high? Britain is, by most international standards, a rich country with a high level of affluence-but millions of people live in households suffering from economic and social deprivation. According to Townsend's statistics on poverty 14 million individuals live in relative poverty in Britain today. This represents over a fifth of the population. Evidence suggests that certain groups in society are more likely to be found in this group than others. Ethnic minorities, the sick and the disabled, the elderly and people claiming benefits are all represented in this figure, which is why for some commentators, notably the New Right, those who live in poverty only have themselves to blame. However it can be argued that there are many factors that contribute to poverty. Child poverty levels in the UK in particular is a cause for concern, with factors such as lone parenthood, workless households and child care all of whom play a significant role in their contribution to the problem of child poverty. ...read more.


Inquiries by the Observer published in the article "shame of child poverty in UK" (2000) discovered the true cost to children of living in households without enough money. Children are eating main meals which consist of little more than toast and beans and rice pudding. Many live in terrible surroundings, with damp running down the walls and inadequate heating. Parents often cannot afford to buy new clothes as the little money they have is spent on food. Some lone parents have less than �100 a week with which to bring up their children and pay the bills. Poor nutrition leads to bad performance at school and worse health, with associated costs to the national health. It is not just the large number of children who are touched by poverty that are a problem, but also the numbers who are always poor. Data tracking child poverty over time also reveal that significant numbers of children are living in poverty year after year. ...read more.


Of course, poverty is much more than just missing out on certain bits of clothing or household equipment. There is also poverty of health and opportunity. These can be caused by poor housing, poor parenting, dropping out of school without qualifications or living on dangerous estates. Poor children often become poor adults, working for low pay, facing conflict with the police and greater chances of problems with drug and alcohol abuse. It can therefore be stated that poverty is a many-sided problem and therefore needs many-sided solutions. This has been accepted by the present government who have promised to wage war against poverty by creating routes into employment for families with children, improving childcare provision, financial support through the benefit system and tackling educational disadvantage (Sure Start and EDA) and poor health. The charity Child Poverty Action Group remains concerned that taking 20 years (a promise made by Tony Blair) to eradicate the problem of child poverty is not ambitious enough. It points out that it is far too early to know if many of the current government policies are actually working. Something only time can tell. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Charities, Poverty and Development section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Charities, Poverty and Development essays

  1. Homelessness in U.K.

    Despite the improvements in the workplace and increased wages, many people continue to live in astonishing conditions of poverty. Of course some of the homeless people are not homeless because they are being paid very little but, it's because they have the habit of taking high class very expensive drugs

  2. Wealth and poverty essay

    Many Muslims chose to give Sadaqah as well as compulsory zakah possibly because the Quran teaches that god has given all wealth and position for the benefit of humanitarian aid. Muhammad (SAW) said 'he is not a believer who eats full while his neighbor remains hungry by his side.'

  1. The Relation Between Consumerism and Poverty

    within the same culture as the rich and their poverty is exasperated by economic growth; If civilization is progressively defined by thriving consumption then the poor are defined as unsuccessful consumers - those who have neither the resource nor (as it is assumed)

  2. Poverty in Turkey

    It is anticipated that poverty would turn down as per capita spending increases, for a certain inequality. Conversely, for a given per capita spending, poverty is estimated to raise as the extent of disparity in the allocation increases. (Horton, S., 1995, 54)

  1. RE poverty

    Examples include 'Luke 16:19-31' (the Rich Man and Lazarus'), Matthew 25:31-46 (the Sheep and the Goats), Matthew 25:14-30 (the parable of the talents) and many others. These all relate to how some of us have gifts and talents that could be used to help others in need, such as those stuck in poverty today.

  2. Sociology of Poverty in Britain

    did not reap the benefits of economic growth under the Thatcher government of the 1980s. c) Identify and explain two difficulties facing sociological researchers attempting to measure relative poverty. Townsend claims that 'individuals can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the types of diet...have the living conditions...

  1. Absolute and Relative Poverty

    * 50% of the people don't have a chance of getting a formal education. In the Third World countries most people live in 'Absolute Poverty'. Here is a quote of a definition of 'Absolute Poverty': 'A condition of life so characterized by malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, high mortality rate and low

  2. Singer's Practical Ethics: Poverty

    Just because the person cannot point out specifically who will die or become affected because of the tins, he cannot just say that it is not his fault. The person is still guilty because of the result of his action.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work