Global poverty charity Save the Children has set up its first-ever appeal to help UK families as estimates of the number of children living in poverty reach the 3.5 million mark.

Despite government pledges to eradicate child poverty, the charity say the young poor have "born the brunt of the recession", often missing out on hot meals or new shoes.

Institute of Fiscal Studies figures show the number of families living on less than £17,000 a year is ever-rising and of the 5,000 parents and 1,500 children surveyed by Save the Children nearly two-thirds they were forced to skip meals.

Just under a fifth said their children sometimes had to go without new shoes when they needed them while 19% of children in poverty said they had missed out on school trips and 14% said they did not have a warm coat to wear in the winter.

The report It Shouldn't Happen Here urges the government to encourage more employers to pay above the minimum wage so that workers can provide for their families.

Save the Children chief executive Justin Forsyth added: "Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money.

"That's why for the first time in our history we are launching a UK appeal. We need to help poor families survive the recession"

"All working parents should be able to earn enough to meet the basic needs of their children. The Government must make work pay by encouraging more employers to introduce a living wage, provide extra child care support to help parents trying to get into work and protect the poorest and most disadvantaged from further cuts."

Click here to read the report in full

Posted 05/09/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com