Action for Children response to new child poverty figures

Thursday 25 March 2021

Director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, Imran Hussain, said:

“The government is in denial over child poverty which continues to rise and threatens to torpedo its flagship plans for levelling up.

“Contrary to the Prime Minister’s misleading claims¹, child poverty is rising, not falling.  Today’s figures show that on the eve of the pandemic, levels rose to 4.3m – that is children growing up in families who struggle to put food on the table, afford clothes or heat their homes.

“Experts have warned that child poverty will rise even further after the pandemic, with working families facing a double threat this coming winter to their living standards as unemployment peaks and Universal Credit is cut. Three quarters (75%) of children in poverty live in working families.

“After 12 long months struggling to cope with job losses, pay cuts and rising costs, families with children have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic and unless the Government chooses to protect them now, many face financial insecurity or poverty for years to come.

“Poverty destroys life chances. You cannot level up the country with millions of children in poverty so it’s vital the Government brings forward a credible plan to reduce poverty. It can start by making permanent the vital uplift in Universal Credit.”


Media contact

Huw Beale, Action for Children – 07718 114 038 / [email protected]

Out of hours – 07802 806 679 / [email protected]

Notes to editor


  • 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 370,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers a year.