Five million children across the UK will face a lifetime of poverty, under government legislation.

A new report from Save the Children entitled ‘A Fair Start for Every Child’ showed that benefit cuts, low wages, and the rising cost of living are all leaving millions of families in poverty.

The restriction on employment support and jobseekers allowance has resulted in many parents barely being able to put food on the table.

Food prices alone have risen by 19 per cent more than the general price level of other goods between 2007 and 2011.

Nursery places for a child under two has risen by 77% between 2003 and 2013.

In a UK wide survey of 4,000 parents on a range of incomes, Save the Children found that 50% of low income families have seen their incomes reduced substantially in the last five years.

Around 70% have found it difficult to meet payments, with over 40% saying they got into debt as a result.

Commenting on the data, Justin Forsyth said: “The current all-party commitments to social security cuts in the next Parliament combined with underlying labour market trends and inflation mean no party has a coherent plan to avoid this crisis. Our political class is sleepwalking towards the highest levels of child poverty since records began while promising to eradicate it completely.

“It’s time our politicians face the scale of the crisis head on and each party set out a concrete plan to get us back on track ahead of the general election.”

Despite the fact that there has been a lot of rhetoric from the government about reducing poverty, two thirds of children in poverty now live in working households, a rise of 20% since 2003.

The UK now has one of the highest rates of low pay in the developed world.

And there are no signs that things are getting any better. New projections show that the numbers living in poverty could increase by 1.4 million in the same period, a rise of 41% on the 3.5 million children currently living in poverty.

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