Children living in poverty in working households up by 1 million since 2010, says TUC

By agency reporter
May 7, 2018

The number of children growing up in poverty in working households is set to be one million higher this year than in 2010, according to new  Trades Union Congress (TUC) research.

The analysis – carried out for the TUC by Landman Economics – estimates that 3.1 million children with working parents will be below the official breadline in 2018, compared to 2.1 million at the start of the decade.

Children with at least one working parent will account for two-thirds of children living in poverty in 2018.

The analysis shows that 600,000 children with working parents have been pushed into poverty as a result of the government’s in-work benefit cuts and public sector pay restrictions.

The TUC says that other key factors behind the one million rise in child poverty are:

  • Weak wage growth
  • The spread of insecure work
  • Population growth
  • The increase in working families

The research shows the impact of public sector pay restrictions and in-work benefit cuts on household incomes.

  • Families where both parents work in the public sector are the biggest losers from the government’s pay restrictions and benefit changes. Their average household income has fallen by £83 a week in real terms.
  • Households where one parent works in the public sector and another works in the private sector have lost, on average, £53 a week.
  • Households with private sector workers only have seen their incomes fall by £32 a week on average.

The East Midlands is set to have the biggest increase in child poverty among working families (up 76 per cent), followed by the West Midlands (up 66 per cent) and Northern Ireland (up 60 per cent).

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, said: “Child poverty in working households has shot up since 2010.

“Years of falling incomes and benefit cuts have had a terrible human cost. Millions of parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids.

“The government is in denial about how many working families just can’t make ends meet. That's why tens of thousands will be marching in London this Saturday to demand a new deal for working people.

“We need ministers to boost the minimum wage now, and use the social security system to make sure no child grows up in a family struggling to get by.”

* Trades Union Congress


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