“Couples raising two children while working full-time on the minimum wage are falling £49 a week short of being able to provide their family with a basic, no-frills lifestyle, research has found.
The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) called for an increase in the government’s “national living wage” to allow families to have an acceptable standard of living.
Its Cost of a Child report, published on Monday, showed an 11% weekly shortfall for a couple raising two children at the point they are aged three and seven.
Worse, however, was the deficit for lone parents, who every week fall 20% short of being able to provide a level of living for their children defined as acceptable by public opinion.
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The charity blamed rising prices, freezes on benefits and tax credit, the bedroom tax and the rollout of universal credit for hitting “family budgets hard”.
The chief executive, Alison Garnham, said: “There is strong public support for the government topping up the wages of low-paid parents, and investing in children is the best long-term investment we can make.
“By using the forthcoming budget to unfreeze benefits and restore work allowances, the government can take steps towards making work really pay.”
Gains from increased minimum wages were offset by a freeze in tax credit support, the research showed.
The findings did, however, show an improvement on last year when the family with an 11% shortfall would have found themselves with a 13% deficit. …”