Child poverty in working households up by 800,000

New TUC analysis has shown that the number of children growing up in poverty in working households has risen by 800,000 since 2010.

The analysis by the union reveals that child poverty in working families rose to 2.9 million in 2018 – an increase of 38 per cent since the start of the decade. In 2010, one in five (19 per cent) children in working households were growing up in poverty. In 2018 this had increased to one in four (24 per cent).

The TUC argues that more than 485,000 children in working households have been pushed below the breadline as a direct result of the government’s in-work benefit cuts, but also highlighted weak wage growth, the spread of insecure work and population growth as contributing factors.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “No child in Britain should be growing up in poverty. But millions of parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids. That is 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 that puts working families first, not wealthy donors and hedge funds.”

The TUC is calling on all political parties to: raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour; stop and scrap Universal Credit ; ban zero-hours contracts; and give workers new rights to join unions and bargain for better pay and conditions across industries.

Margaret Greenwood, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responded: “The Conservatives and Lib Dems should hang their heads in shame for nine years of austerity which has left working families struggling to feed their children, as shown by these new shocking figures. How we care for and protect our children is a mark of a civilised society. The TUC’s figures show just how badly Conservative and Lib Dem coalition governments have failed them.

“Labour will make tackling child poverty the priority it should be. We will provide 30 hours free childcare a week to all two-four year olds, free school meals to all primary school children and introduce a real living wage of at least £10 per hour for workers aged 16 and over.”