UK has 3.1 million children growing up in poverty, study finds

The number of children growing up in poverty in the UK has increased by one million since 2010, according to a recent study.

The TUC estimates that 3.1 million children will be growing up in poverty in working households in the 2018-19 tax year, up by 50 per cent from 2.1 million in 2010.

Around 600,000 children with working parents have been “pushed” into poverty because of the government’s benefit cuts and public sector pay restrictions, the TUC said.

Weak wage growth, insecure work, and population growth also contributed to the overall rise in child poverty.

The research found that the biggest increases in child poverty among working families are in the east Midlands, West Midlands, and Northern Ireland.

The report said that a household is in relative poverty if its income after housing costs is below 60 per cent of the median.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Child poverty in working households has shot up since 2010.

“Years of falling incomes and benefit cuts have had a terrible human cost. Millions of parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids.

“The Government is in denial about how many working families just can’t make ends meet.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “We do not recognise the TUC’s figures. The reality is there are now one million fewer people living in absolute poverty compared with 2010, including 300,000 fewer children.

“We want every child to get the very best chances in life. We know the best route out of poverty is through work, which is why it’s really encouraging that both the employment rate and household incomes have never been higher.”

Margaret Greenwood, shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “These shocking findings show just how damaging eight years of austerity has been for working families.”