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Commenting on the latest Household Below Average Income (HBAI) data published today (Thursday), which shows that 57% (8 million people) of those living in poverty are in working families, Frances O’Grady said:

“Millions of people are working hard, but still locked in poverty – that’s not right.

“The system is broken, with low pay, insecure work and the benefits freeze trapping families below the breadline.

“We need to redesign the economy to make it fair again. People need more control over their working lives and a fairer share of the wealth they create.

That means banning shady practices like zero-hours contracts and raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour. And it means giving all working people the freedom to have a union in their workplace to negotiate fair pay and conditions.”

Editors note

- Changes needed to end working poverty: The TUC is calling on the government to improve pay and increase the supply of well-paid work by:

  • Increasing the minimum wage to £10 as quickly as possible
  • Giving all public-sector workers a fully funded proper pay rise, after years of pay cuts
  • Ending the benefits freeze and improving support for low-paid families
  • Strengthening collective bargaining rights for workers, and setting up new bodies to negotiate pay in sectors where low pay is endemic, such as hospitality, agricultural labour and care work

- Poverty in working households: Households are in poverty if they fall below 60% of median household income after housing costs.

- Today’s figures show that in 2017/18 there were 8.0 million people in working households living below the poverty line (adults, children and over-65s combined).

- The full data release from the Office for National Statistics on Households below average income 1994/95 to 2017/18 can be found here: