Government cuts mean that children from working households now account for two-thirds of those living in poverty in the UK.
Shocking new figures published by the TUC reveal that the number of children from working households growing up in poverty is will rise to 3.1 million this year – 1 million more than in 2010.
The analysis by Landman Economics for the TUC also shows that government policy has driven 600,000 children with working parents into poverty.
Families where both parents work in the public sector have been hit hard. Cuts to in-work benefits, changes to benefit uprating mechanisms, and increased pay restrictions have all contributed to a loss of income. This has left growing numbers of children mired in poverty.
According to the analysis, government policies on pay restraint and tax-benefit policies since 2010 mean that:
• Families where both parents work in the public sector have seen their average household income plummet by £83 a week in real terms.
• Households where one parent works in the public sector and another in the private sector have lost £53 a week on average.
• Households where both parents work in the private sector have lost £32 a week on average.
The other key factors behind the rise in child poverty include weak wage growth, the spread of insecure work, population growth, and the increase in the number of working families.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said:
"Child poverty in working households has shot up since 2010. ‘
"Years of falling incomes and benefit cuts have had a terrible human cost. Millions of parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids. The report found an increase in the number of children in poverty was directly affected by cuts.
"The government is in denial about how many working families just can’t make ends meet. ‘We need ministers to boost the minimum wage now, and use the social security system to make sure no child grows up in a family struggling to get by."
Patrick Harrington, general secretary, of Solidarity union said:
"To end child poverty working families need to earn enough to support their children. That means we need to review our entire benefits and tax system, pay decent wages and create a system working for the many not the few."