TWO thirds of council wards in the Bradford district have child poverty rates above the national average, new official Government figures have revealed.

The most recent child poverty data shows the rate of child poverty in Bradford is five per cent higher than the national average, with 31,580 children and young people aged 0 to 19 living in poverty.

The new figures will go before Bradford East Area Committee when the panel meets tomorrow.

Four wards in Bradford East - Bowling & Barkerend, Little Horton, Eccleshill, and Bradford Moor - have the highest proportion of children living in poverty according to the most recent figures, from the 2015-16 financial year.

Bowling & Barkerend has the highest rate, 29.3 per cent, and Little Horton has the highest total number, 2,370.

The report also reveals more than 30 per cent of children living in poverty in the district live in the Bradford East constituency, a total of 9,640.

Child are classed as in poverty if they are living in families that are either in receipt of out-of-work benefits or in receipt of tax credits and with a reported income below 60% of national average income.

It is noted in the report that the Institute for Fiscal Studies projected an upward swing in child poverty rates from 2017-18 to 2021-22.

This projection is backed up by figures from a report published in January by the End Child Poverty coalition,a group of charities, faith groups, social justice groups and trade unions.

In that report, it said in 2017, before housing costs are taken into account, 11,836 children in Bradford East live d in poverty, and after housing costs were accounted for 17,228 children - 47 per cent of children in the area - were living in poverty.

Bradford East MP Imran Hussain said: “Under this Tory Government, child poverty has soared as a result of cruel cuts in the name of ideological austerity.

“As they plan to dig the knife deeper into the welfare system, to cut even further, the 17,000 children that the End Child Poverty Campaign estimates are in poverty in Bradford East after housing costs, will only increase in number.”

Councillor Mohammed Shafiq (Labour, Bradford Moor) sits on the area committee. In his ward, 27.4 per cent of children, a total of 2,235, live in poverty.

He said: “It is completely unacceptable for the children living in the poorest wards to be suffering as a result of this Conservative government’s cuts.

“Richer areas have been favoured over Bradford East and Bradford Moor. The government needs to treat us all fairly.

“Children are our future and these cuts are having a massive impact on them.”

The meeting will take place at 6pm at City Hall tomorrow.