• 43,000 children in public sector families pushed into poverty
  • The region has seen a 55% rise in the number of children in public sector families fall into poverty since 2010 – the biggest increase in England.
  • 1 in 7 UK children with a parent in the public sector will be living below the breadline by April

 Almost 43,000 children in the South West with a parent working in the public sector are now living in poverty according to new TUC analysis published today (Thursday).

Since 2010, the region has seen over 15,000 more children (+55%) fall into poverty since 2010.

The TUC research also shows that by April 2018, 1 in 7 children in the UK (550,000) in public sector working families will be living below the official poverty line as a result of the public sector pay cap, tax and benefit changes.

The analysis shows:

  • The South West (+55%) has seen the biggest increase in child poverty rates among families with a public sector worker in England. It’s followed by the North West (+51%) and East Midlands (+50%).
  • An extra 150,000 children with at least one parent working in the public sector 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 £83 each 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.

Separate TUC analysis shows that holding down public servants’ pay reduced spending power in the South West region by £3.9 billion since 2010.

The average South West public sector worker today earns £2608 less than if their pay had risen in line with inflation (CPI).

TUC Regional Secretary for the South West, Nigel Costley said:

“The government’s pay restrictions and in-work benefit cuts have caused needless hardship all over the UK.

“Public servants shouldn’t have to worry about feeding or clothing their kids, yet many are struggling to afford even the basics.

Ministers must give nurses, teachers and other public sector workers the pay rise they have earned or more families will continue falling into poverty.”

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