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New figures published today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics show that government decisions are worsening inequality for working-class families, says the TUC.

The data shows that the poorest households suffered the largest losses in disposable household income last year (from 2017/18 to 2018/19).

Average disposable income for those in the bottom fifth fell by over four percent, compared to a one percent fall for the top fifth. The second biggest fall was for the second poorest quintile, with an average loss of nearly two percent.

Household income quintile






Change in disposable income






Source ONS 2018/19

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The government is hammering working-class families. Incomes are falling because of cuts to family support like tax credits and benefits, and because so little has been done to improve pay and job security.    

“It’s time to for a crack-down on low pay and insecure jobs. Hard work should be rewarded.

“No more excuses – ministers must ban business models that exploit people like zero-hours contracts. And the government must deliver a fair social security system that works for everyone.”

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