Action for Children responds to today's child poverty stats

Friday 27 March 2020

In reaction to today’s official statistics which show a rise in child poverty in the UK from 4.1 million (2017/18) to 4.2 million (1) (2018/19), director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, Imran Hussain, said:

“These grim figures show millions of families with children are already struggling to keep their heads above water even before they - and millions of others living comfortably – find themselves hit hard by the economic wave of this once-in-a-generation health crisis. 

“In the past week some families have already got so desperate, our frontline staff are feeding them from their own cupboards. And with so many families close to breaking point, we’ve had to launch an appeal fund to help those struggling to pay for basic essentials like food, nappies and utility bills.

“We welcome the financial support announced last week but the government needs to go further and faster. We urgently need to put a protective shield around children in low income families. That means improving the child element of Universal Credit and Tax Credits, and ensuring these changes reach those children most at risk of poverty by suspending the benefit cap and the two-child limit for this support. Only then will we have a chance of giving vulnerable children a safe and happy childhood.”

To support Action for Children’s emergency coronavirus appeal which will help families cover the cost of the basics, please visit, call 0300 123 2112 or text ACTION to 70175 to give £10.


Media contact

Huw Beale, Action for Children:

07718 114 038[email protected]

Out of hours:

07802 806 679[email protected]

Notes to editors


Data shows 4.2 million children in the UK living in poverty in 2018/19 (up from 4.1 million from 2017/18) – these are children living in families below 60% median income after housing costs. That’s 30% of all UK children; 72% (up from 70% last year) are in working families.

About Action for Children

Action for Children protects and supports vulnerable children and young people by providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. With 476 services in communities across the country, the charity helps more than 387,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers a year.