Part-time work for single parents leaving children in poverty

EstateThe number of children living in poverty despite their single parent having a part time job has  increased to almost one in three in a single year (31 per cent).

According to new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions, the previous year’s figure was just under one in four (23 per cent). Overall, 43 per cent of children from single parent families live in poverty, making them twice as likely as children from other households to live below the breadline.

Fiona Weir, chief executive of single parent charity Gingerbread, said:

“It is alarming to see the dramatic leap in the numbers of single parents who are in work, but still trapped in poverty, with one in three children whose single parent works part-time below the poverty line. Government claims that work is the best route out of poverty are simply not ringing true.”

She added:

“More than four in ten single parent families are living in poverty in the UK today – that means going without many of the essentials that most families take for granted: a hot shower, three meals a day or new shoes for your children when their feet grow.”

She called on the government to help create more family-friendly jobs, increase its support for childcare, and better balance tax credits and benefits so that work pays for people in poverty.

Gingerbread’s Make It Work campaign is aimed at helping to make work a “guaranteed route out of poverty for single parents”. The charity called on the government to commit to helping 250,000 more single parents into work over the next seven years.

Photo by James Delaney via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

 

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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1 comment

Luke - June 14, 2013 at 5:01pm

She called on the government to help create more family-friendly jobs, increase its support for childcare, and better balance tax credits and benefits so that work pays for people in poverty.
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I think some further tax alleviation is sensible for the people on low wages, but the Government cannot just create family-friendly jobs from thin air in a recession – we need jobs that produce things people want to pay for – and people who buy stuff won’t generally pay extra to make the work family-friendly. We are living in a world where there is a lot more competition and these people need to wake up to that.

When Fiona Weir says “increased support for child care” what she means is everybody else paying higher taxes to fund it – that is unrealistic with our current tax rates. If a person cannot get a job with a high enough pay to easily offset the childcare costs then there is no way everybody else should be subsidising them just because they don’t want to have to stay at home with their kids – a massive reality check is required here.

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