Issue date
15 Feb 2018
55% more children in the South West in public sector families have fallen into poverty since 2010 – the biggest increase in England.

Almost 43,000 children in the South West with a parent working in the public sector are now living in poverty according to new TUC analysis published today (Thursday).

Since 2010, the region has seen over 15,000 more children (+55%) fall into poverty since 2010.

The TUC research also shows that by April 2018, 1 in 7 children in the UK (550,000) in public sector working families will be living below the official poverty line as a result of the public sector pay cap, tax and benefit changes.

The analysis shows:

  • The South West has seen the biggest increase (+55%) in child poverty rates among families with a public sector worker in England. It’s followed by the North West (+51%) and East Midlands (+50%).
  • An extra 150,000 children with at least one parent working in the public sector will be below the poverty line this April – an increase of 40% since 2010.
  • Families where both parents work in the public sector are the biggest losers from the Government’s pay restrictions and benefit changes. Their average household income will be down £83 each week in real terms by April 2018.
  • Households where one parent works in the public sector and another works in the private sector will lose on average £53 a week.

Many of our public service workers are struggling to afford even the basics.

Separate TUC analysis shows that holding down public servants’ pay reduced spending power in the South West region by £3.9 billion since 2010.

The average South West public sector worker today earns £2608 less than if their pay had risen in line with inflation (CPI).

TUC Regional Secretary for the South West, Nigel Costley said:

“The government’s pay restrictions and in-work benefit cuts have caused needless hardship all over the UK.

“Public servants shouldn’t have to worry about feeding or clothing their kids, yet many are struggling to afford even the basics.

Ministers must give nurses, teachers and other public sector workers the pay rise they have earned or more families will continue falling into poverty.” 

Editors note

Number of UK children living in poverty with public sector parent

Household type

Number of children in poverty under 2010 system

Number of children in poverty by 2018 under government policies

Extra children in poverty by 2018 (000s)

Extra children in poverty by 2018 (%)

Public sector workers only

217,512

321,262

103,750

48%

Public and private sector workers

180,771

236,233

55,462

31%

TOTAL

398,283

557,495

159,212

40%

Increase in number of children living in poverty with public sector parent since 2010 (nation/region)

Region

Number of children in poverty under 2010 system

Number of children in poverty by 2018 under government policies

Extra children in poverty by 2018 (000s)

Extra children in poverty by 2018 (%)

North East

13,025

17,792

4,767

37%

North West

34,289

51,785

17,496

51%

East Midlands

27,845

41,884

14,039

50%

West Midlands

29,354

45,297

15,943

54%

East of England

38,362

49,712

11,350

30%

London

82,660

100,350

17,690

21%

South East

48,342

63,437

15,095

31%

South West

27,749

42,951

15,202

54%

Yorkshire

34,965

49,415

14,450

41%

England

336,591

462,623

126,032

37%

Scotland

26,654

42,582

15,928

60%

Wales

21,341

31,231

9,890

46%

Northern Ireland

13,697

21,059

7,362

53%

Weekly cash loss from government policies

Household type

Overall weekly loss

Public sector workers only

-£83.03

Public and private sector workers

-£53.26