WORKING FAMILIES FALL SHORT OF MINIMUM LIVING STANDARD

The overall cost of a child over 18 years (including rent and childcare) is £150, 753 for a couple and £183,335 for a lone parent. But work doesn’t pay low-income families enough to meet a no-frills standard of living, new research from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows.(1)

A combination of rising prices, benefits and tax credits freezes, the introduction of the benefit cap and two-child limit, the bedroom tax, cuts to housing benefits and the rolling out of Universal Credit have hit family budgets hard. Life has been getting progressively tougher for families on low or modest incomes over the past ten years, with families on in-work and out-of-work benefits hardest hit, the report warns. Despite the introduction of the ‘national living wage’, low-paid families working full-time are still unable to earn enough to meet their families’ needs. The gains from modest increases in wages have been clawed back through the freezing of tax credits. Even families with two parents currently working full time on the ‘national living wage’ are 11% (£49 per week) short (2) of the income the public defines as an acceptable, no-frills living standard. Read more.

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