West News Wire: According to a Labor Party examination of official government data, more than half of black children in the UK are growing up in poverty.

The study was based on official data for households with a relatively low income,’ defined as less than 60% of the median income, which is the traditional definition of poverty.

It discovered that black children are now more than twice as likely as white children to grow up in poverty.

The total number of black children living in impoverished homes has more than doubled in the last decade, despite the fact that the entire population has grown.

According to the report, the percentage of black children living in poverty increased from 42% in 2010-11 to 53% in 2019-20, the most recent year for which data is available.

The analysis has been released to the Guardian by the Labor party, which has said the figures are evidence of ‘Conservative incompetence and denialism about the existence of structural racism’.

The party produced the figures by cross-referencing data from the Department for Work and Pensions’ reports on households below average income with population statistics.

It found that in 2019-20, 4.3 million children (defined as people under 16, or aged 16 to 19 and in full-time education) were living in households in poverty, accounting for 31% of the UK’s 14 million children.

Labor’s analysis found that Bangladeshi children are the poorest, with 61% of them living in poor households.

They are followed by 55% of Pakistani children, 53% of black African or Caribbean or black British children, 51% of children of other ethnicities, 50% of children of other Asian ethnicities, 32% of children of mixed ethnicity, 27% of Indian children, 26% of white children and 12% of Chinese children.

In total there are 2.9 million white children living in poverty, making them by far the largest ethnic cohort, comprising 68% of all children living in poverty.

Black children are the next biggest group: with more than 400,000 living in poverty, making up 10% of the total number of children living in poverty.

The data also found that in some ethnic groups, children are just as likely to be living in poverty now as they were 10 years ago, with Bangladeshi children as likely to be living in a poor household now as they were in 2010-11.

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While for some ethnicities the chances of growing up poor have decreased, for others including white, Pakistani and black children, it has increased.

Anneliese Dodds, the shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, whose office produced the figures, said the data was evidence of ‘Conservative incompetence’.

There is little wonder that child poverty has skyrocketed over the last decade when Conservative ministers have done so little to tackle the structural inequalities driving it,’ she said.

Conservative incompetence and denialism about the existence of structural racism are driving black children into poverty.

Labor has a plan to lift them out of it, with a new race equality act to tackle structural racial inequality at source.’

In response to Labor’s claims the figures were the result of its leadership, a government spokesperson highlighted separate figures showing that in 2019-20 there were 300,000 fewer children living in absolute low income, after housing costs, than there were in 2010.

Absolute low income is defined as below the figure for 60% of median income for 2010/11, adjusted for inflation.

People can fall out of absolute low income if their incomes increase by more than inflation, but can remain in relative low income, if other people’s incomes rise by proportionally more.

‘The latest official numbers indicate that there were 300,000 fewer children of all backgrounds in poverty after housing expenses in 2010 than in 2010, and we continue to give considerable help to further lower this number,’ a government spokeswoman said.

‘This includes putting £1,000 more per year into the pockets of the poorest people through improvements to universal credit, raising the minimum wage to £9.50 per hour in April, and assisting with the cost of heating bills.

This winter, our £500 million Household Support Fund is assisting the most vulnerable households with necessary bills, and councils have been awarded an additional £65 million to assist low-income households with rent arrears.


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