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Children in Relative Poverty

Volume 700: debated on Monday 13 September 2021

18. What recent estimate she has made of the proportion of children in relative poverty where at least one adult in that household is in employment. (903388)

National statistics on the number and percentage of children in low-income households are published annually in the “Households below average income” publication. In 2019-20, 19% of children living in households where at least one adult is in employment were in relative poverty before housing costs.

The Government are very keen to say that work is the route to escape from poverty. However, over 27% of children in my Blaydon constituency live in poverty and many of those are in families where at least one parent or more is in work. The £20 universal credit uplift removal will push working families deeper into poverty, so what will the Government do to tackle the crisis of in-work poverty?

We know—all evidence suggests—that full work dramatically reduces the risk of poverty. As our economy improves, we will increasingly focus on progression to improve opportunities for those in low-paid work and support them towards financial independence. But the hon. Lady is right, and I recognise that moving into work is not always enough to lift people out of poverty; that is why we have the independent in-work progression commission, which published its report over the summer on the barriers to progression for those on persistent low pay. It makes a number of recommendations for the Government that we will consider very carefully and respond to later in the year.