Budget 2018: tackling the rising tide of in-work poverty

Document type
Schmuecker, Katie
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Date of publication
12 October 2018
Social Policy, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Families, Children and Young People, Employment
Social welfare
Material type

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In-work poverty is the problem of our times. Whether you look at the absolute or relative poverty measure, two thirds of children in poverty live in a working family.

Key points:

  • In the three years to 2016/17 the number of people living in poverty in working families has risen by over one million.
  • Jobs that are low paid and insecure, offering only a dead-end and not a stepping stone to a better job, trap people in poverty. Five in every six people in low-paid work fail to escape low pay over 10 years.
  • Barriers to increasing pay can be even greater for those with family responsibilities. Caring for children can limit the number of hours you can work and the distance you can travel for work. This is particularly acute when children are young, and just 7% of people think a mother should be expected to work full-time before her youngest child goes to school.

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