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Child poverty in working households up by nearly a million since 2010

Child poverty in working households up by nearly a million since 2010
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

The number of children in poverty living with at least one working parent grew 44% between 2010 and 2023, a trade union finds.

It means almost a million (900,000) more children lived in poverty during that 13-year period, which equates to an extra 1,350 each week.

Last year, three million children were in working households “living below the breadline”, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found.

Therefore, almost a quarter (24%) of all children in working households are now in poverty, while three million account for 69% of all children in poverty.

Child poverty is defined as when a child grows up in a family earning below 60% of the national average salary, according to Action for Children.

This leads to a child living with limited access to or, in some cases, no access to, the essentials they need to survive and live.

It comes at a time when the number of adults experiencing ‘absolute poverty’ has increased to 12 million as they battle many factors including the cost-of-living crisis and rising household bills.

During 2022-23, almost a fifth of the UK endured some form of poverty, with 600,000 falling into ‘extreme financial difficulty’ – where you cannot afford to pay essential bills or need to borrow more to cover an existing debt.

‘No child in Britain should be growing up below the breadline’

Following the financial struggle many people face despite being in employment, TUC general secretary Paul Nowak has called for unity among all political parties to enforce an “economic reset”.

Nowak said: “No child in Britain should be growing up below the breadline. But under the Conservatives, we have seen a huge rise in working families being pushed into poverty.

“A toxic combination of pay stagnation, rising insecure work and cuts to social security have had a devastating impact on family budgets.”

Nowak added: “We urgently need an economic reset and a government that will make work pay. Reducing child poverty must be a priority in the years ahead.”