A quarter of children in London live below poverty line

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London, Apr 14 (UNI) This is an insight into what they call the ''social decay'' in London, the sixth richest city on earth.

Half the children in London live below the poverty line, the divide between the rich and the poor is widening and the crime rate is three times higher in the most dangerous boroughs than in the safest. Worse still, unemployment runs at almost 50 per cent in the poorest areas.

This striking report of abject poverty and social breakdown in London was issued today by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The findings were reported in Breakthrough London, the latest report into social decay by Mr Duncan Smith's think tank, the Centre For Social Justice.

The new found statistics relate breakdown to severe pockets of poverty, emphasising that in some parts of the capital six in 10 households are headed by a single parent, which is 65 per cent above the national average.

A quarter of the capital's 650,000 children lived below the poverty line. This rose to half in the inner zone.

Despite London's status as the sixth richest city on earth, the report says growing numbers of residents are left behind. Salaries in inner London averaged 45,000 pounds a year - 80 per cent above the national average - yet the same area contained seven of the 20 most deprived local authorities in England, the Evening Standard reported.

The education level was as poor with a meagre 22 per cent of pupils in Islington obtaining five good GCSE passes, compared with 75 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea.

London was well above other regions with a 20 per cent Youth unemployment. In areas like Hackney, Newham, Westminster and Tower Hamlets, four in 10 households had nobody working in them.

While one million Londoners drank too much alcohol, according to the report, almost a quarter of the UK's drug addicts were in the capital.

The recommended measures to reverse the phenomenon of social decay are personalised support to get people back to work, welfare reform and tax-breaks to support marriage.

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