Now 12% of children in poverty in the Mearns

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Campaigners have published a child poverty map of the UK, which shows that youngsters in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine are least affected.

Figures released last week by the ‘Campaign End Child Poverty’ (CECP) showed that 13.51% of children in Aberdeenshire were living in poverty between October and December 2013.

The estimates were compiled for CECP by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.

However, North Kincardine Councillor Alison Evison said: “Despite West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine being the constituency with the lowest rate of child poverty, the figures for this area are still of great concern.

“In North Kincardine, after housing costs, 8.13% of children are living in poverty in Stonehaven, 8.10% in Lower Deeside and 11.96% in the Mearns.”

“We must not allow those figures to become an accepted norm, despite the national target being to reduce child poverty to 10% by 2020”.

CECP have said the map showed “shocking levels of hardship” across the country.

Councillor Evison continued: “The long-term aim must be to eradicate child poverty totally, wherever it is.”

“It is particularly worrying that many of the children experiencing poverty live in households where there is a working adult.”

“We need to be alert to the stresses that families can be under when living in a prosperous area with high housing costs.”

End Child Poverty spokesman Neil Mathers said: “These figures reveal just how widely and deeply child poverty reaches into our communities.

“Politicians of all parties need to act, to tackle the root causes of poverty, including low pay and soaring housing and childcare costs. “We must build on the good work that is happening in Scotland.”

Sir Robert Smith MP said: “West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine has both the lowest level of child poverty and the lowest level of unemployment in the UK, underlining the important role a strong economy can play in tackling child poverty.”