'Living Wage Doesn't Cover Basic Needs For Families', Says Research

‘Living Wage Doesn’t Cover Basic Needs For Families’, New Research Claims

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’

the national living wage does't cover basic needsImage Credit: Kat Yukawa / Unsplash

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’

the living wage isn't enough for families with children

Image Credit: Li Tzuni / Unsplash

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.”

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About the Author

Jem Collins

Strategic Impact Director
Jem is the Strategic Impact Director for RightsInfo, working on increasing our reach across the UK and measuring our impact. Previously she was the News and Social Media Editor. She is also passionate about helping young people into the media and runs Journo Resources, a start-up which helps young people into the media, as well as serving as a trustee of the Student Publication Association. She is also one of the co-founders of The Second Source, a group to help end harassment in the media. Email Jem View all posts by Jem Collins.
‘Living Wage Doesn’t Cover Basic Needs For Families’, New Research Claims
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