A new report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows the number of children living in poverty in working households has increased to 2.1m – the highest on record.
The report shows that, thanks to Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit increases in 2008, overall the number of children living in poverty fell to 3.7m, with the number in workless households falling to 1.6m, the lowest since 1984. But those in working families rose slightly to 2.1m, and they now account for 58% of the total.
Co-author of the report, Tom MacInnes, said:
"With more than half of all children in poverty belonging to working families, it is simply not possible to base anti-poverty policies on the idea that work alone is a route out of poverty. Child poverty in working households must be given the same focus as out-of-work poverty. Until this happens, debates about poverty will continue to be misleading"
Homeworkers Worldwide’s Northern Homeworking Project works with homeworkers in the UK, many of whom are on very low wages and many of whom work at home because they have children. The rising numbers of those in in-work poverty reflects the fact that many UK workers are employed in low paid, irregular and precarious jobs. Stronger employment rights, a higher minimum wage, better enforcement, more affordable childcare and better in-work benefits are needed to address the problem of in-work poverty.