A WIRRAL MP is demanding urgent Government action after a shocking report revealed more than 18,000 children across the borough are living in poverty when housing costs are take into account.

Margaret Greenwood's concerns were raised after a report by the End Child Poverty Coalition showed 18,457 children were affected in Wirral.

Ms Greenwood, who is also shadow employment minister said: "Growing up in poverty can have a major impact on health and well-being, not just in childhood, but in later life too.

"Childhood poverty can have a major impact on life chances over the long term.

"The last Labour government made tackling child poverty a key priority and lifted 1.1 million children out of poverty.

"The Child Poverty Action Group now predicts that the government's current tax and benefit policies will see almost all of that progress reversed by 2020."

"Wages are failing to keep pace with rapidly increasing inflation.

"The price of food, for example, was over 4% higher in December compared with the year before.

"At the same time, families on low income are being affected by deep cuts to social security and particular groups like single parent families have been hit especially hard.

"Most working–age benefits, including child benefit, have been frozen until 2020.

"The Trussell Trust, the largest organisation of food banks in the UK, helped 37,000 adults and 24,000 children across Merseyside in 2016-17.

"Government ministers endlessly repeat that work is the best route out of poverty, but many parents who would actually like to return to work find that childcare is simply unaffordable and that the help available from government with the cost is complex and difficult to access.

"These new figures for child poverty should act as a wake-up call to government."