RESEARCH revealed today has shown more than 100,000 children in the North-East are being hit by the public sector pay cap.

A study by GMB, the union for public sector workers, of the latest Office of National Statistics figures show the region has almost 65,000 households where at least one adult works in the public sector as their main job.

The average full time public sector workers have lost out on £9,000 in wages since the pay cap was introduced in 2010 and stand to lose a further £4,000 by 2020.

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Billy Coates, GMB regional secretary, said: “If the Government needed something to bring home the reality of their cruel and unnecessary public sector pay pinch, this is it.

“Our cherished public sector workers are now under so financial much strain they are forced to visit foodbanks, never mind finding the cash to buy their children new clothes or take them on holiday.

“The fact hundreds of thousands of kids in our region are growing up in this way in one of the richest countries in the world is a badge of shame.

“Enough is enough. It’s time to give all our public sector workers the wage they deserve.”

Laura Pidcock, the recently elected MP for North-West Durham, said austerity measures always means the most vulnerable have to pay the highest price.

She said: “Young people being dependent, through no fault of their own, are feeling a cumulative impact of the cuts.

“Not only do they live in households that are struggling, which impacts of the quality of life, the food they eat and the quality of their clothes, entertainment, but also they do not have access to the services they once had.

“Some schools do not have any summer schemes to go to. They don’t have any youth clubs, their schools are under pressure and their parents are really struggling.

“This high level data only goes some way to explain and show real suffering that is going on out there.

“We are really angry that they won’t lift the pay gap. It is not about wanting to win political points.

“We know that this is hitting vulnerable people the hardest and we are talking about children.”

The Government is currently completing the pay review process for 2017-18.

Earlier this week, Elizabeth Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We have accepted the pay review body recommendations made for doctors, the NHS and the armed forces.

“We will be looking very carefully at the recommendations on the remainder and making determinations in the usual way.

“Our policy on public sector pay has always been designed to strike the right balance of being fair to our public sector workers and fair to those who pay for them.

“That approach has not changed, and the Government will continually assess that balance.”