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- Despite being in a working family, the number of children living below the breadline has increased by 35,000 since 2010.
- One in five children living in poverty
- Government policies are largely to blame, says TUC

The number of South West children growing up in poverty in working households has increased by 35,000 since 2010, according to new TUC analysis published today (Monday).

The analysis – carried out for the TUC by Landman Economics – shows that child poverty in South West working families rose to 215,000 in 2018. That’s an increase of 20% since 2010 when the number stood at 180,000 children.

Government policies account for majority of rise in child poverty

The TUC says that government cuts to in-work benefit cuts have been a key driver behind the increase. 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 families hasn’t been enough to lift families out of poverty

Growing up in poverty is becoming the norm for many kids. 

Abolishment of child poverty targets

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

TUC Regional Secretary of the South West Nigel Costley said:

“No child should be growing up in poverty. Yet many parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids.

“And in parts of the region, growing up in a poor working household is becoming the norm. That’s 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 focused on helping working families, not more tax cuts for wealthy donors and hedge funds.”

To tackle the rise of child poverty, TUC is calling on all political parties to commit to: 

  • Raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour
  • Stop and scrap Universal Credit
  • Ban zero-hours contracts
  • Give workers new rights to join unions and bargain for better pay and conditions across industries
Editors note

Notes to editors:

- Increase in number of children living in poverty with a working parent since 2010 

Region

Number of children in poverty in 2010

Number of children in poverty in 2018

Extra children in poverty (000s)

Extra children in poverty (%)

South West

179,550

215,403

35,853

20

Total

2,087,334

2,880,356

793,022

38

- Proportion of children in working households in poverty

Region

2010

2018

South West

19.7%

21.4%

UK

19.0%

23.8%

NOTE ON METHODOLOGY

  • The tax/benefit model analysis uses the 2017/18 FRS as baseline; the child poverty data for 2010/11 and 2017/18 is taken directly from the HBAI data (which is the same data set as the FRS, but published separately). 
  • The analysis includes all tax and social security measures introduced under the 2010-15 coalition government and subsequent conservative governments, including Universal Credit.
  • A household is considered to be in relative poverty if its income is less than 60% of median income after housing costs.

- Proportion and numbers of children living in child poverty for 2017/18 by local authority and parliamentary constituency can be found in analysis conducted by End Child Poverty: https://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/

Parliamentary Constituency

Proportion after Housing costs

No. of children

Bath

19%

3904

Bournemouth East

27%

5594

Bournemouth West

28%

7072

Bridgwater and West Somerset

28%

6498

Bristol East

26%

7641

Bristol North West

26%

7260

Bristol South

29%

8290

Bristol West

29%

7164

Camborne and Redruth

31%

6257

Central Devon

25%

4470

Cheltenham

23%

5551

Chippenham

23%

5369

Christchurch

20%

3056

Devizes

25%

6576

East Devon

22%

4236

Exeter

25%

6871

Filton and Bradley Stoke

21%

4443

Forest of Dean

25%

4928

Gloucester

29%

9371

Kingswood

21%

4465

Mid Dorset and North Poole

20%

3607

Newton Abbot

25%

4879

North Cornwall

32%

6405

North Devon

28%

5773

North Dorset

22%

4775

North East Somerset

19%

4338

North Somerset

16%

3623

North Swindon

23%

6575

North Wiltshire

22%

4785

Plymouth, Moor View

34%

7764

Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

35%

8537

Poole

23%

4911

Salisbury

23%

4936

Somerton and Frome

25%

5948

South Dorset

29%

5266

South East Cornwall

28%

4728

South Swindon

27%

7581

South West Devon

20%

3718

South West Wiltshire

26%

6195

St Austell and Newquay

32%

8041

St Ives

29%

5342

Stroud

21%

4889

Taunton Deane

23%

6288

Tewkesbury

21%

4504

The Cotswolds

21%

4519

Thornbury and Yate

20%

4287

Tiverton and Honiton

25%

5398

Torbay

31%

6519

Torridge and West Devon

29%

5882

Totnes

28%

5000

Truro and Falmouth

25%

4538

Wells

22%

5364

West Dorset

24%

4693

Weston-Super-Mare

27%

6604

Yeovil

25%

6108