A RUNCORN MP has released a furious statement after learning one in four children in his constituency are living in poverty.

Mike Amesbury was commenting on End Child Poverty Coalition research showing 25.3% of children in his Weaver Vale constituency were in poverty in 2021/22, equivalent to 5,020 youngsters.

More shockingly than this, the local authority of Halton shows almost 1 in 3 children were living in poverty.

There has been a 2 percentage point rise in child poverty rates in the constituency since 2015. And the study revealed 4.2 million children in poverty across the UK.

The Labour MP said: “I am deeply disturbed and angered by these latest findings because it means more and more children are going without food or a warm home in 2023. Tory austerity means families are not adequately supported when something like the pandemic or cost-of-living crisis hit, leading to human consequences.

“Sadly, the evidence suggests far too many children are robbed of their potential throughout life if they grow up in disadvantage.”

Mr Amesbury’s constituency spans two local authority areas. In Cheshire West and Chester, 25.3% or a quarter of all children were found to be in poverty, exactly in line with the constituency.

While in Halton, 32.1% of children were living in poverty. Halton has seen a growth in child poverty by 3.7 percentage points since 2015, with relatively high rates compared to the national average, putting it in the top 90 local authorities.

Across the UK, the cost-of-living crisis drove up the number of children experiencing poverty to 4.2 million last year, with an increasing number living in working households. 

Mr Amesbury added: “Shockingly, 71% of these children come from households where at least one adult is working. It is a clear indication that work alone is not enough to lift families out of poverty. We need comprehensive measures to address the root causes and provide real solutions.

“One policy change that holds the potential to make an immediate impact is scrapping the two-child limit for Universal Credit, as evidence shows children with two or more siblings are more likely to be going through poverty.”

Joseph Howes, chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said: “Abolishing the two-child limit would immediately lift 250,000 children out of poverty, and the government could make this change now.”