The scandal of Salford's child poverty continues with new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showing that the city has the second highest level of children living in households where no-one works in Greater Manchester.
The freshly compiled figures, for 2012, show that 11,000 children, or 23.2% of all Salford's children, now live in `workless households'. This compares to a national average for the UK of 14.9%, and a Greater Manchester average of 19.6%. Salford is only beaten by Manchester which has a rate of 27.9%.
The majority of Salford's children - 25,000 or 53.7% - now live in households where either no-one works or in `mixed' households where only one person works. This indicates child poverty on a huge scale.
Meanwhile, other figures released by the ONS this week covering all households, whether they've got kids or not, show that there are now 23.8% (19,000) of households in the city where no-one works, and 23.6% (19,000) of `mixed' households where only one person works. These figures are also shocking and well above the national average of 17.5%, but something very strange is going on…
…While Salford has the second highest rate in Greater Manchester for children living in workless households, when it comes to the rate of workless households, with or without children, the city drops behind Bolton, Rochdale and Manchester. And the figures show that there are more working households in Salford (52.6%) than workless or `mixed' households (47.4%) - so one might expect the rate of child poverty to reduce. But it hasn't. And the numbers haven't moved for the last three years.
This seems to indicate that the new working households in Salford are made up of people who don't have kids, or who are single. Given the amount of new apartments that have appeared at MediaCityUK and surrounding areas for `aspiring young professionals' (as Salford's regeneration careerists like to call them), it appears that poverty statistics are being diluted by the `young professionals' coming into Salford.
Countryside Properties, currently re-creating `New Broughton' put the argument clearly in its original planning application, only in relation to health…
"By introducing more market housing, which is generally occupied by a greater proportion of economically active people, there is likely to be an overall improvement in the health of the residential population of the area" it stated (see previous Salford Star article – click here)
But behind the mask of MediaCityUK, Salford Quays and what is going on in Chapel Street, it looks like poverty rates in Salford are not moving. And its biggest fall-out, child poverty, is horribly alive and kicking.
11,000 Salford kids living in workless households tells a very different regeneration story than the one currently being lauded by the Mayor, Salford Council and co…Anyone for more bridges and fountains?
To see the official statistics click here
To see previous Salford Star article on child poverty rates in the city - click here