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150,000 extra children of public sector workers pushed into poverty, says TUC

1 in 7 children (550,000) with a parent working in the public sector will be living in poverty by the end of this financial year, according to new TUC analysis published today (Thursday).

The research shows that since 2010 an extra 150,000 children have been pushed below the breadline as a result of the government’s public sector pay restrictions and in-work benefit cuts.

The analysis shows:

  • 1 in 7 children (550,000) living with a public sector worker in their family will be below the poverty line this April – an increase of 40% since 2010.
  • Families where both parents work in the public sector are the biggest losers from the government’s pay restrictions and benefit changes. Their average household income will be down around £83 a week in real terms by April 2018.
  • Households where one parent works in the public sector and another works in the private sector will lose on average £53 a week.
  • The South West (+55%) has seen the biggest increase in child poverty rates among families with a public sector worker in England. Its followed by the North West (+51%) and East Midlands (+50%).

Separate TUC analysis shows that holding down public servants’ pay reduced spending power by £8.5bn in England alone last year.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady 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.”

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