William Eichler 22 August 2017

Parents ‘struggle’ to cover family costs due to benefit freeze

Parents ‘struggle’ to cover family costs due to benefit freeze image

Working parents are unable to meet basic family costs due to the combination of inflation and the freeze on benefits, report warns.

A new report from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has revealed parents working full time on the ‘national living wage’ (NLW) are ‘significantly short’ of the income needed to give children an acceptable minimum living standard.

The report, written by Loughborough University’s Donald Hirsch, warned families in which both parents work full time for the ‘national living wage’ (NLW) are 13% (or £59 per week) short of what they need to give their children a minimum living standard.

Lone parents working full time on the same wage are 18% short (or £68 per week)—double the shortfall an equivalent lone parent family faced in 2012.

The report noted this ‘gap’ would increase due to the combined pressure brought by inflation and the freeze on benefits.

The freeze on working age benefits will force parents to find between an additional 6% and 9% of children’s costs in 2019 compared to 2012, and while benefits will have risen by 3% between 2012 and 2019, prices are projected to have risen by 12%.

‘Our research shows that the benefit freeze will mean that children will be the main losers with the return of inflation,’ said chief executive of CPAG, Alison Garnham.

‘The cost of raising children is rising but for the first time in decades support for families is not keeping pace.

‘The result is a yawning gap between what ordinary families need for a no-frills living standard and what they actually have. And the shortfall will grow if inflation rises further, with damaging consequences for children.

‘With the return of inflation the benefits freeze has become toxic for struggling families. Rather than prioritising tax cuts which help the better off, the Chancellor should use the Autumn Budget to invest in helping families with children.

‘Ending the benefits freeze should be the first step he takes to re-balance the finances of ordinary families.’

LEPs: A year like no other image

LEPs: A year like no other

Alun Rogers, chair of Stoke and Staffordshire LEP, on the 2020-2021 annual review and his hopes for the future of the LEP.
Supporting young victims of domestic abuse image

Supporting young victims of domestic abuse

Steph Waddell says it’s time for a serious long-term commitment from government to improve understanding of what works in supporting children affected by domestic abuse.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45.834 - £56.141
You’ll lead the building, testing and monitoring new and existing services both on-prem and in the cloud. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37.772 - £46.999
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people who have some experience in infrastructure engineering... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Solutions Architect

Essex County Council
Solutions ArchitectPermanent, Full TimeCompetitive SalaryLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Growth, Investment and Tourism – Dover District Council

Dover District Council
Competitive Salary
In this role, you will find significant and nationally important physical, economic and cultural assets with the capacity to... Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

Monitoring Officer / Assistant Director Legal, Registration & Electoral Services

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£90,205 per annum         
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and an opportunity to make a real difference. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue