CPAG: Report reveals cost of child poverty broken down by local authority and constituency

Child Poverty Action Group has today published estimates of the costs to the economy and government generated by child poverty rates in every local authority and constituency in the UK. The local authority estimates, produced by Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University, are contained in a new report on how local authorities are trying to tackle child poverty at a time of social security cuts and upheaval. Both LA and constituency breakdowns of costs are also in a separate spreadsheet attached to the email distribution of this release.

The report, Local Authorities and Child Poverty: Balancing Threats with Opportunities, is launched today at a CPAG conference in Birmingham aimed at assisting local authorities fulfil their obligations under the Child Poverty Act to implement effective local child poverty strategies. The report and the conference have been funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“We always put our children first in family life, and it’s right that we should do so in our local communities too. Every council is required by law to have a local child poverty strategy, and the good news is that reducing child poverty benefits everyone by cutting the costs to local authority services and boosting the local economy through improved skills and qualifications for school leavers.

“Our new report will help guide authorities on the challenges they face and the actions they can take to protect families in their area against poverty; and many residents will be shocked to hear that so many local children are living in poverty. We hope that local campaigners will be able to use our report to encourage their local councillors to do more to end child poverty in their area and support those families facing the greatest hardship.”

Quote for your area

Use the figures in the spreadsheet attached to the email distribution of this release to localise the following quote by substituting the underlined parts with local details:

Alison Garnham said:

“In XX constituency/local authority the current extent of child poverty costs XX every year and a large part of this cost lands on council services. We need a strong local child poverty strategy so that children growing up in XX have a better future, and so that we avoid having to spend on failure and can invest everyone’s council tax contributions in more positive ways.”

The local cost of child poverty varies in each community. The local authorities with the largest numbers of children in poverty (with annual economic cost generated by their local poverty rate given alongside) are:

1. Birmingham, £914 million a year

2. Manchester, £446 million a year

3. Glasgow City, £395 million a year

4. Bradford, £360 million a year

5. Leeds, £340 million a year


Notes to editors

  • Child Poverty Action Group is holding a conference for local authorities today in Birmingham (18 July 2013). The conference, and the new report, is to aid local authorities in developing their local child poverty strategies to meet the need generated by social security cuts and reforms, and to look at the opportunities they have to make progress on poverty prevention and reduction.
  • A pdf of the report, and a spreadsheet with local cost figures broken down by local authorities and constituencies, are both attached to the email distribution of this release.
  • The figures were calculated from a UK national figure of £29 million a year and are based on the population size and child poverty rate within each local authority area. The full national costs are made up of:

Ø  £15 billion spent on services to deal with consequences of child poverty

Ø  £3½  billion lost in tax receipts from people earning less as a result of having grown up in poverty

Ø  £2 billion spent on benefits for people spending more time out of work as a result of having grown up in poverty

Ø  £8½  billion lost to individuals in net earnings (after paying tax)

Full details of the national research, from which the local figures have been calculated, can be found here:

  • CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.
  • CPAG is the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty coalition, which has members from across civil society including children’s charities, faith groups, unions and other civic sector organisation, united in their campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met. You can download local data on child poverty rates, broken down to ward level, from the End Child Poverty website:

For further information please contact:

Tim Nichols
CPAG Press Officer
Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302