Child poverty levels in Carrick require urgent action, says MP

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“WORRYING” figures have revealed child poverty in some parts of Carrick is as high as 26 per cent.

A report released this month by a grouping of more than 100 charities placed child poverty in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock at 21 per cent – with 26 per cent of the young population of Girvan and South Carrick categorised as poor.

The news comes just two months after the latest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation was published, revealing three neighbourhoods in Girvan as more deprived than areas of Govanhill, Tollcross, and Drumchapel in Glasgow.

Sandra Osborne, Labour MP for the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency, said the results – which also put child poverty in Maybole and North Carrick at 15 per cent – make for depressing reading.

“The report states that child poverty damages children’s experiences of childhood and harms their future life chances,” she said.

“We know from research earlier this year by Save the Children that well over half of parents in poverty say they have cut back on food, and over a quarter say they have skipped meals in the past year.

“Around one in five parents in poverty say their children have to go without new shoes when they need them, while a large number of children in poverty say they are missing out on things that many other children take for granted, such as going on school trips and having a warm coat in winter.

“Only one in five parents in poverty say they have not had to borrow money to pay for essentials, such as food and clothes, in the past year.

“It is also worrying to note that the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts a growth in child poverty of 400,000 between 2011 and 2015, and a total of 800,000 by 2020. “

Mrs Osborne said one of her party’s priorities is to vigorously campaign against government measures which are penalising families who are already feeling the pinch.

“I am in the process of organising a local public meeting involving representatives from the local authorities and advice organisations so that people can find out how the Government’s welfare changes will affect them,” she said.

Anyone who would like to attend this meeting should contact Sandra by emailing osbornes@parliament.uk, or telephone on 01292 262906.