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  • Conservative government has pushed up working poverty by rewarding wealth instead of work, says TUC

Commenting on the publication today (Thursday) of the latest official figures on UK poverty, which show that the number of people living below the poverty line in working households is 1.5 million higher than in 2010/11, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:

“If you work hard, you shouldn’t have to worry about making ends meet. But working poverty has rocketed under Conservative governments since 2010.

“It’s clear why this has happened. The Conservative approach has been to reward wealth instead of work. Pay and social security have been held down year after year, while the rich get tax breaks and bankers get unlimited bonuses.

“We need a different kind of government making different choices. A government with a plan to get pay rising across the economy. A government that rewards work instead of wealth.”

Editors note

- Data in HBAI on in-work poverty: The 1.5 million headline figure is for the relative low income measure of poverty, after housing costs. The new poverty data is available via the Department for Work and Pensions at:, from where you can download HBAI data tables. The number of people in relative poverty after housing costs is taken from table 3_3tr in the population trends spreadsheet. The percentage of people in poverty who live in a working household is taken by adding together rows 21 to 25 in table 3_5ts in the population timeseries spreadsheet. This percentage is then applied to the overall number in poverty.

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