COMMENT - Child poverty concerns

WHILE it is positive news that child poverty figures have not got any worse since last year, the expected effects of the benefit system reforms mean that concerns are already being voiced for next year’s figures.

If the stark predictions about how the reforms will affect Wigan families prove to be true, more and more people will have less money than before. This will leave impossible decisions such as the choice between eating hot meals or heating homes and as today’s figures highlight, thousands of children in Wigan will suffer as a result.

Unfortunately, these types of stories are no longer as much of a shock as they should be because they are just another instalment in a continuing theme.

Wigan Council will be working hard to support families living below the poverty line and the introduction of food banks in the borough may provide a certain amount of relief.

However, these measures could be akin to putting a plaster over a significant wound and things may get worse before they get better.