WEYMOUTH & PORTLAND – One in three children living in poverty

  • The number of children living below the breadline – despite being in a working family – has increased by 36,000 in the South West since 2010
  • Number of children living in poor working households up by 20%
  • Government policies have been a key driver, says TUC

The number of South West children growing up in poverty in working households has increased by almost 36,000 since 2010, according to new TUC analysis published today (Monday).

The analysis – carried out for the TUC by Landman Economics – shows that child poverty in South West working families rose to 215,000 in 2018. That’s an increase of 20% since 2010 when the number stood at 180,000 children.

In Weymouth and Portland, increasing housing costs has pushed one in three children (30%) in the area into poverty.

Government policies account for majority of rise in child poverty

According to the TUC, government cuts to in-work benefit have been a key driver behind the increase. Other key factors behind the rise in child poverty are:

  • Weak wage growth
  • The spread of insecure work
  • Population growth
  • The rise in the number of working families hasn’t been enough to lift families out of poverty

Abolishment of child poverty targets

In 2016, the Conservatives abolished the Child Poverty Act and scrapped targets to reduce poverty.

TUC Regional Secretary of the South West Nigel Costley said:

“No child should be growing up in poverty. Yet many parents are struggling to feed and clothe their kids.

“And in parts of the region, growing up in a poor working household is becoming the norm. That’s not right.

“The Conservatives’ cuts to in-work benefits have come at a terrible human cost. As too has their failure to tackle insecure work and get wages rising across the economy.

“We need a government focused on helping working families, not more tax cuts for wealthy donors and hedge funds.”

– Action needed: The TUC is calling on all political parties to:

  • Raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour
  • Stop and scrap Universal Credit
  • Ban zero-hours contracts
  • Give workers new rights to join unions and bargain for better pay and conditions across industries

– Increase in number of children living in poverty with a working parent since 2010 (nation/region)


Number of children in poverty in 2010

Number of children in poverty in 2018

Extra children in poverty (000s)

Extra children in poverty (%)

South West











– Proportion of children in working households in poverty




South West








  • The tax/benefit model analysis uses the 2017/18 FRS as baseline; the child poverty data for 2010/11 and 2017/18 is taken directly from the HBAI data (which is the same data set as the FRS, but published separately).
  • The analysis includes all tax and social security measures introduced under the 2010-15 coalition government and subsequent conservative governments, including Universal Credit.
  • A household is considered to be in relative poverty if its income is less than 60% of median income after housing costs.

– Proportion of child poverty for 2017/18 by local authority and parliamentary constituency is taken from analysis conducted by End Child Poverty https://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/