Shocking levels of child poverty in Coventry – time to fight against capitalism
Figures from the End Child Poverty coalition have shown that in seven wards in Coventry, more than a third of children now live in poverty.
The highest rate is in St Michaels ward, which has a staggering child poverty rate of 52.7%. In Foleshill, the rate is 49.2% – affecting 3,400 children, the highest number of all the wards. (It is 2400 children in St Michaels ward).
Earlsdon ward has the lowest rate in Coventry, but even there, the poverty rate is 11.7%, affecting almost 300 children.
In total, the rate across the whole of Coventry is 32.7% – there are 24,931 children in the city living in poverty.
This is a major problem nationally – in 2015, 21 electoral wards had at least 50% child poverty rates. Now, it is 87 wards across the country which have that rate.
Clearly government cuts to benefits as part of the Tory austerity agenda, combined with rising living costs are to blame. But here in Coventry, the role of local Labour councillors in carrying out cuts and implementing austerity cannot be ignored.
Libraries and youth centres face closures, while cuts have had an impact on social services across the city.
Add to this the rise in council tax, going hand in hand with cuts to the council tax support scheme – due to affect large numbers of Coventry’s poorest households. Labour councillors need to be standing up against austerity and helping to organise resistance to the Tory agenda – if they don’t they need to be challenged.
This Tory government is weak and in crisis, and could be brought down by mass movements channelling the anger against austerity.
This is the sixth richest country in the world – the child poverty here in Coventry is a stark example of the complete failure of the capitalist system, and shows the vital need for an alternative.
Now more than ever, it is time to fight for socialism.
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