Dr Gill Main interviewed about child poverty in The Mirror

The article explains what child poverty is, why it exists in the UK and the factors which are causing it to increase.

Dr Gill Main, associate professor in the School of Education and co-editor of the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, is interviewed on the subject of child poverty. According to the article, there are currently 4.2 million children living in poverty. However, it is believed that these latest figures haven’t yet taken into account the impact of Covid-19. 

Dr Main explains how child poverty is measured: “the most commonly reported measure of child poverty is living in a household in which the total income of adults living there is lower than 60% of the national average”. However, there are other ways in which poverty is defined and these differ across the globe. In the article, Dr Main says that “when we think of basic necessities food, adequate housing and healthcare might come to mind. But in the UK today there are other things, such as a computer and internet connection, which means people lose a lot of opportunities which should be available to everyone. You need to be able to access the internet to claim social security benefits”.

Although certain areas have higher rates of child poverty, it affects the whole of the UK: “even in the least affected parts of the UK, nearly one in four children is living in poverty”. Dr Main states that many people are surprised that child poverty is a widespread issue. Dr Main explains that children can live in poverty even when families are in paid work. The article discusses the two main reasons for this, firstly, there has been an increase in jobs that have a zero hour contract or are part-time resulting in income being low, unstable and inconsistent. Secondly, people on lower pay may struggle to have the opportunity to learn new skills which would help them progress into a higher paid job, meaning that it is difficult to escape poverty.

The article goes on to discuss various topics associated with child poverty including financial support from the government, the impact of child poverty upon a child’s future, what measures can be taken to help reduce the number of children living in poverty and how the general public can help.

Read the full article.