The Campaign to End Child Poverty has published a child poverty map, highlighting the UK's most stricken areas.

They research found that Tower Hamlets was the area most affected by child poverty, with 52 per cent of children who live there living below the poverty line. The UK average was for one child in five to be below the poverty line.

A number of areas in London all featured in the top 10 for child poverty, including Islington, Westminster and Hackney. However, 89 constituencies already met the government targets by having child poverty rates of 10 per cent or lower.

Campaign executive director Alison Garnham said: "The child poverty map paints a stark picture of a socially segregated Britain where the life chances of millions of children are damaged by poverty and inequality.

"But it also gives us reason for hope. The child poverty target has already been met in the Prime Minister's constituency and nearly a hundred others, so never let it be said that the targets are impossible to meet. If we can do it in Witney today, we can do it in Hackney tomorrow.

"Child poverty costs us billions picking up the pieces of damaged lives and unrealised potential, so it's a false economy if we don't prioritise looking after children today.

"Targeting cuts on families will prove both an economic and a social disaster, with businesses losing billions of pounds of demand and families struggling to keep their kids clothed, fed and warm."

Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said: "We should not accept child poverty as a fact of life - as a country we know we have the potential to do this, if we make it a high enough priority. Despite the coalition's praise for Frank Field's report on child poverty and David Cameron and Nick Clegg's commitment to tackling the issue, the fight to improve the lives of millions of children has been stymied by a debate between politicians preoccupied by the relative merits of different ways of measuring how poor children are. Instead we should be redoubling our efforts on all fronts to lift children out of poverty.

"These latest figures from the Campaign to End Child Poverty clearly show that the government needs to take action if the gains made over the last decade are not to be lost. Ending child poverty is crucial in the present climate, not only to ensure that families with children do not bear the brunt of austerity but also because, with child poverty costing this country £25 billion a year, there is a strong economic imperative to giving our children a better future."

Posted by Robert Mair on 10/1/2012