The volume of people trapped in poverty could have a knock-on effect on how well others are paid, according to new research, with millions unable to contribute to the UK’s recovery from Covid-19.
More than a million children of key workers – one in five across the UK – are living below the breadline, the study by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) showed, including nearly 30 per cent of children in the north-east of England whose families kept the country going in lockdown.
Researchers blamed low pay, insecure hours and unaffordable housing costs for the high level of hardship among supermarket staff, carers and delivery drivers who have worked to keep the UK running during the pandemic.
“It is shameful that the very workers who got us through this crisis are in the firing line when it comes to poor pay and cuts to universal credit,” said Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary.
“A basic principle of our economy has to be that people are paid a fair wage they can raise their family on.
“The government must immediately stop their cut to universal credit which will take £1,000 a year from millions of working families.”