Child poverty in working households up by 800,000 since 2010, says TUC

By agency reporter
November 19, 2019

The number of children growing up in poverty in working households has risen by 800,000 since 2010, according to new TUC analysis. The analysis reveals that child poverty in working families rose to 2.9 million in 2018 – an increase of 38 per cent since the start of the decade. 

In 2010, one in five (19 per cent) children in working households were growing up in poverty. In 2018 this had increased to one in four (24 per cent).

The analysis shows that government policies account for the majority of the increase in-work poverty. More than 485,000 children (in working households) have been pushed below the breadline as a direct result of the government’s in-work benefit cuts. The analysis includes all tax and social security measures introduced under the 2010-15 coalition government and subsequent conservative governments, including Universal Credit. 

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

  • Weak wage growth 
  • The spread of insecure work
  • Population growth
  • The rise in the number of working households has not been enough to lift families out of poverty  

London has suffered the biggest increase in child poverty (+68 per cent) among working families followed by the West Midlands (+56 per cent) and Eastern England (+56 per cent).  

In 2016 the Conservatives abolished the Child Poverty Act and scrapped targets to reduce child poverty. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “No child in Britain should be growing up in poverty. But millions of parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids. That is not right. 

“The Conservatives’ cuts to in-work benefits have come at a terrible human cost. As too has their failure to tackle insecure work and get wages rising across the economy. 

“We need a government that puts working families first, not wealthy donors and hedge funds.”

* Trades Union Congress



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