Addressing poverty together

By Simon Barrow
September 20, 2011

Today and tomorrow I am taking part in a consultation on the role civic groups and churches can play in combatting poverty, not least child poverty.

The event at St George's House in Windsor is being convened by the Children's Society.

Despite government rhetoric, official figures show there are 3.8 million children living in poverty in the UK after housing costs have been deducted. This is one of the worst rates of child poverty in the industrialised world.

The proportion of children living in poverty has risen considerably in the last 30 years. In 1978 around 14 per cent of children lived in poverty and by 2008/09 it was 29 per cent .

Around 1.9 million children live in workless households in the UK. Therefore the UK has a higher proportion of children living in workless households than any other European Union country . However, more than half (58 per cent) of all children (2.2 million) in low income households live in families where at least one of the adults is in paid work .

Children are still much more likely to live in low-income households than the population as a whole: 30 per cent compared to 22 per cent.

It's time for action...

Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia. He is also involved with the media legacy group of Scotland's Poverty Truth Commission (

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.