Commenting on the fourth report in the series Destitution in the UK from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which highlights around one million children experiencing destitution in 2022, an 88% increase since 2019, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“That one million children are experiencing destitution must surely sound an alarm for Government to finally take the action needed. The research published today provides yet more evidence that families are faced with a perfect storm of economic mismanagement by the Government leading to a fall in living standards at the same time as support through the welfare system is falling further short of meeting their needs.
“Rising hardship is a problem that pre-dates the cost-of-living crisis. The Government must respond to the worsening situation by committing to change this trajectory and provide an ambitious plan to end destitution and poverty in the UK.
“As a first step, the Government must introduce free school meals for all children, starting with those in primary school. They must also immediately lift the two-child limit, a cruel measure which if lifted could remove 250,000 children from poverty overnight. Our communities are experiencing historic levels of hardship while the Government offers increasingly little support. The cost of not acting is too high.”