The New Labour government is on course to miss its target of halving the number of children in poverty by 2010 according to a committee of MPs.
Some 3.4 million children were living in poverty when Tony Blair announced the government’s plans in 1999. That number fell to 2.8 million in 2006, but it rose by 100,000 last year.
One in five families with a disabled child is so financially constrained that it has to cut down on food.
Another report has found that almost one million households in rural England live in poverty.