Shocking new figures published today by the TUC reveal that the number of children from working households growing up in poverty is set to rise to 3.1million this year – 1 million more than in 2010.
The analysis by Landman Economics for the TUC also shows that 600,000 children with working parents have been driven into poverty as a direct result of government policy.
Families where both parents work in the public sector have been hit especially hard. Cuts to in-work benefits, changes to benefit uprating mechanisms, and increased pay restrictions have all contributed to a loss of income that has left growing numbers of children mired in poverty.
According to our analysis, government policies on pay restraint and tax-benefit policies since 2010 mean that:
• Families where both parents work in the public sector have seen their average household income plummet by £83 a week in real terms.
• Households where one parent works in the public sector and another in the private sector have lost £53 a week on average.
• Households where both parents work in the private sector have lost £32 a week on average.
The other key factors behind the rise in child poverty include weak wage growth, the spread of insecure work, population growth, and the increase in the number of working families.
If this situation is to improve, working families need to earn enough to support their children. That means raising the minimum wage needs to £10 as soon as possible and ensuring the social security system is nimble enough to prevent families from falling into poverty in the first place.
All of this is within the government's gift. Ministers must take urgent action to end child poverty once and for all.