Working parents “simply do not earn enough to escape poverty”

The perception in the UK that people in poverty are those out of work is incorrect, according to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

The perception in the UK that people in poverty are those out of work is incorrect, according to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

Indeed, workers in the country are finding it incredibly difficult to make ends meet as daily living expenses rise while incomes remain stagnant.

Inflation in the UK has been rising but wages have not been running alongside it, which is leaving many individuals with tough decisions to make.

According to a report looking into social mobility, working parents "simply do not earn enough to escape poverty" and the legally-binding goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is likely to be missed by a considerable margin.

It found two-thirds of poor children are now from families where an adult works, showing the desperate struggle households are encountering on a daily basis.

More low and middle-income families are being squeezed as a result of falling earnings and rising house prices, university fees and youth unemployment. According to the report, many parents fear their children will grow up to have lower living standards than they have had.

"Today child poverty is overwhelmingly a problem facing working families, not the workless or the work-shy.

"In three-quarters of those households someone already works full-time. The problem is that those working parents simply do not earn enough to escape poverty," the report read.

It said the UK has one of the highest rates of low pay in the developed world and there are five million workers, mainly women, who are earning less than the living wage and "desperately need a new deal". 

The chair of the Commission Alan Milburn is now calling on wealthier pensioners to have their benefits cut in order to raise the minimum wage. 

However, a spokesman for prime minister David Cameron has swiftly said he believes it is right to make commitments to pensioners in relationship to state provision, while the government has pledged to safeguard such benefits until the next general election.

The report states the coalition has been slow to react to the situation and says more must be done as the taxpayer can no longer bridge the gap between earnings and the cost of living.

By James Francis

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