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New figures show 10,000 Basildon children live in poverty
A WHOPPING 10,000 children across Basildon have been classed as living in poverty according to figures from the Children’s Society.
The figures reveal as many as 1,458 in Lee Chapel North, 1,200 in Vange and 1,135 in Pitsea North West are in poverty, which is worked out as households having a weekly income of less than £251 per week.
In contrast, Billericay East has just 196 children in poverty. Local Labour councillors fear more families will end up in poverty when benefit cuts come into affect in April.
Byron Taylor, deputy Labour leader and ward councillor for Vange, said: “Child poverty in Basildon is a scandal, and these benefit cuts are going to make it worse. A lot of people have lost their jobs whilst others are working part-time or in low paid employment. Cutting benefits will push many of these families into poverty. It is the children of Basildon that will pay the price of Tory failure.”
However, Basildon Council leader Tony Ball said the figures had to be put into context.
He said: “There is no surprise to hear that the areas that have the highest percentage are worst hit as they have the highest concentration of social housing. The amount is concerning but it is relative as it is not as though we are talking about poverty in similar terms to that in Africa and India.
“We have a very complicated welfare system but if you consider the economic climate, something had to be done in regard to benefit reform. I understand that these figures may get worse but the protocol is right that people need to stand on their own two feet.”