Poverty and Inequality

15.02.18

Pay restrictions pushing families of public sector workers below poverty line

One in seven children of public sector workers will be living in poverty by the end of next month, a trade unions have warned.

Research by the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) revealed that since 2010, public sector pay restrictions and in-work benefit cuts have pushed an extra 150,000 children below the breadline.

By the end of the financial year, this is set to increase by 40%, with 550,000 children with a parent working in the public sector living in poverty.

Families where both parents work in the public sector are hit hardest, with their average household income set to go down by around £83 a week in real terms by April 2018.

Where only one parent works in the public sector the average household income will be reduced by around £53 a week.

The south west has seen the biggest increase in child poverty rates amongst families supported by a public sector worker, with figures by 55%, closely followed by the west midlands and north west, with increases of 54% and 51% respectively.

A separate TUC analysis showed that the reduction in public servants’ pay reduced spending power by £8.5bn in England last year.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said: “The government's pay restrictions and in-work benefit cuts are causing needless hardship.

“Public servants shouldn’t have to worry about feeding or clothing their kids. But many are struggling to afford even the basics.

“Ministers must give public sector workers the pay rise they have earned. If they don't more families will fall into poverty.”

Top image: Imgorthand

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