Parents on the so-called Living Wage could be left more than £70 a week short of being able to afford a basic ‘no frills’ lifestyle, according to a leading poverty charity.
The Cost of a Child report, put together by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), found that a single parent on the National Living Wage, paid to all people over the age of 25, would be £74 down on the total income needed.
A couple with two children would find themselves £49 short of what they needed – an 11 per cent weekly shortfall.
‘Strong Public Support For Topping Up Wages’
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The CPAG’s research is based on something called the Minimum Income Standard, which calculates the amount of money a person needs for a base standard of living.
It looks at a number of essential costs such as food, clothes, and housing, as well as “other costs required to take part in society”.
These are all things which tie into our human rights.
Our right to food, for example, is protected by a number of international standards, including Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Childcare was also one of the biggest costs for people bringing up a family, with full-time childcare accounting for almost half the total sum.
‘Making Work Really Pay’
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Speaking about the findings, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive at the charity said there was “strong public support” for topping up the wages of low-paid parents.
“Investing in children is the best long-term investment we can make,” she added.
Investing in children is the best long-term investment we can make.
Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, CPAG
“By using the forthcoming budget to unfreeze benefits and restore work allowances, the government can take steps towards making work really pay.”
However, some costs had fallen – with the overall cost for a couple raising their first child falling from £155,100 to £150,800.
A Government spokesperson added: “The employment rate is at a near-record high and the National Living Wage has delivered the highest pay increase for the lowest paid in 20 years, worth £2,000 extra per year for a full-time worker.”