More than 90,000 children in Scotland live in “severe poverty”, according to a study by Save the Children (STC).
The charity has classified that just under 10% of the country’s one million youngsters as living in its worst poverty bracket.
It comprises children aged 15 or under living with two parents who bring home less than £7,000 a year after paying for housing costs.
The statistic is in the charity’s Living Below the Radar report.
STC’s findings, which were published on Tuesday, suggest that one third of children in severe poverty cannot afford play equipment such as a bike or a football, while a quarter miss out on going to toddler or play groups once a week.
The report also found that about 20% of the under-privileged youngsters cannot afford to celebrate occasions like Christmas or birthdays.
More than one-fifth of elderly people feel they are living in poverty, a Help the Aged survey has suggested.
Of 1,095 adults questioned, 28% said their quality of life had got worse in the last 12 months, while 93% said their lives had not improved.
The charity said the findings were “outrageous” and called for a clear commitment to end pensioner poverty.
A total of 13% of those surveyed said they were lonely and rarely left the house.
Almost one in six Europeans are living below the poverty line, the European Commission said.
An estimated 72 million people get by on less than 60% of their country’s average income – the “poverty threshold”.
The figure was used at a Brussels conference on poverty as evidence that more needs to be done to tackle the problem.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimir Spidla said Brussels would commit “considerable funding” from the EU budget to promote an inclusive society.
“The Commission will continue to support the fight against poverty and social exclusion,” he said. “Our goal must be to eradicate poverty in Europe. But we must not forget, that whenever we talk about targets and percentages we are in fact not talking about figures, we are talking about people and their potential and talents.”
The latest figures show that, across the 27 EU countries:
16% live below the poverty threshold;
10% live in jobless households;
19% of children are at risk of poverty;
8% of Europeans in employment (aged 18 and over) live below the poverty threshold.
The National Consumer Council (NCC) and energywatch today warn the government and the energy industry that time is fast running out to eradicate a Victorian affliction that still haunts our affluent 21st century society.
While all eyes are on the government’s imminent energy white paper, and its big-picture plans for future energy policy, almost four million UK households – twice as many as 2003 – struggle to afford to heat their homes adequately.
They need to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on gas and electricity – almost three times the share of everyone else. Poorly heated and insulated homes, high energy prices and low incomes conspire to make their lives a misery – and give the UK one of the worst fuel poverty records in northern Europe.
A shock rise in child poverty and income inequality has forced the UK government to abandon its strategy of raising social security payments to ensure poor families’ incomes keep pace with the rest of society.
Official figures on Tuesday showed the government way off course in its ambition to halve the number of children living in households below the poverty line between 1998-99 and 2010-11.
In 2005-06, 2.8m children lived in households with incomes below 60 per cent of the national median, the government’s preferred measured of relative poverty, an unexpected increase of 100,000 over 2004-05.
POOR families in the UK are forced to pay £1000 more each year for essential goods and services, charities said today.
A study by Save the Children and the Family Welfare Association found the least well-off are likely to pay more for basic needs such as heating because of the payment options they choose.
The charities demanded that companies and the Government work together to stop penalising of the poorest households.
Poverty is “scarring” British cities, with around half of children in some urban areas living below the breadline.
To coincide with a day of action on child poverty, Save the Children has released a list of UK constituencies where the problem is at its worst.
The list, compiled using data from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is topped by inner city areas.
Manchester Central was the worst, with more than half of the children there described as living in poverty.
Liverpool Riverside and Poplar and Canning Town, second and third in the list, showed child poverty rates approaching the 50% mark, double the national average.
Colette Marshall, UK director of Save the Children, said: “Despite the boom in affluence, illustrated by ever-rising house prices, these figures show that cities remain the places most scarred by poverty.
“Families are struggling to cope – especially during winter when the weather turns cold and the bills are high and the financial demands on families become unbearable.
“Without urgent action this year the Government will fail to meet its own target to end child poverty by 2020.”