THE shocking news in last week’s Gazette of the huge increase in cases of child cruelty and neglect reported to the police and analysed by the NSPCC sadly comes as no surprise to me.

I worked in child protection social work for 30 years and noticed that when Government’s cut support services to families, local authority budgets and welfare benefits the numbers of child abuse cases always rises.

Despite what some politicians say there is a well established correlation between poverty and child neglect.

Families under the discredited Universal Credit system have had benefits decreased which adds even more stress on parents who may be on zero hour or insecure low paid job contracts.

In work poverty has increased which means even with relatively high employment poverty pay triggers tax credits, or better known as tax payers subsidies for big companies not paying decent wages.

Along with child abuse the increases in child and adolescent mental health over the period of austerity has meant more young people are committing suicide every year, becoming depressed, developing eating disorders or self harming at an alarming rate.

Cuts in NHS and specialist resources have created huge waiting lists for help.

Nelson Mandela once said that a society should be judged by how well it cares for all its children. How does this country fare in your judgement?

Steven Walker, Sunny Point, Walton