‘One in four children in Dundee living in poverty’

MORE THAN a quarter of children in Dundee are living in poverty, new figures have shown.

Child poverty figures in Dundee make for grim reading, with more than one in four children in the city adversely affected. Picture: Getty

• More than a quarter of children in Dundee living in child poverty, new figures show

• East End of Dundee is worst-affected area of the city, with 36 per cent of children living in poverty

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Figures released today from the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland revealed that more than one in every four youngsters in the city are living in poverty, while one in five children across Scotland are living in poverty.

In some areas of Dundee, up to one in more than a third of children are living below the poverty line, with some families forced to choose between heating or food.

On average across the city, 26 per cent of children are poverty-stricken, while in the East End 36 per cent of kids are classified as being in poverty. In Lochee and the north east of the city, the figure is at 30 per cent.

Mary Kinninmonth, director of Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau, said that some parents in the city were struggling to cope.

She said: “There are people who often don’t eat properly themselves, to make sure they can feed their children.

“Sometimes it is a stark choice between heating and eating.

“It is unfortunate that Dundee is up there in areas of deprivation in Scotland and people are struggling to make ends meet.

“There is a need to ensure that people are having a basic standard of living and aren’t pushed into what is defined as poverty, but that isn’t happening.”

Other areas of the city affectedby child poverty statistics are Coldside, wich has a 29 per cent child poverty rate, white Maryfield has 28 per cent and Strathmartine has 27 per cent.

Figures were worked out by looking at the number of homes with low income, as well as those living in material deprivation.

Lard Provost Bob Duncan said that the local authority was working hard on the issue.

He said: “We want to give all children the chance to develop, with good prospects and a future that is bright.

“This is something that we are currently tackling along with all our partner organisations, it isn’t just cash poverty either it also can be with education, health and exercise.

“We are working hard to eradicate child poverty because it is not something anyone wants to be seeing.”

The lowest figure for a Dundee ward was Broughty Ferry, at 7 per cent, while the West End had 19 per cent.

John Dickie, head of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, said problems were expected to rise with changes to the benefits systems and Dundee would suffer more than elsewhere.

He said: “Any reduction in child poverty was welcome, but overshadowed by frightening forecasts of a massive surge in child poverty as UK tax and benefit changes kick in.

“With Dundee already suffering disproportionate levels of child poverty, the concern is the city will suffer more than most.”