We cannot allow Brexit to distract from families locked in working poverty in our country

Responding to the Government’s annual Households below average income data released today showing an increasing proportion of children in poverty who have a parent in work, Campbell Robb, chief executive of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“Poverty is a scar on our nation’s conscience. Today’s figures support what we are hearing from communities across the UK which is that more working families are struggling to make ends meet. 4.1 million children are now locked in poverty – nearly three quarters of whom have a parent in work – the highest rate on record. We need to act now to solve poverty.

“It is unacceptable that despite record levels of employment, millions of people are finding it hard to achieve a decent life. Until today, the Government has been hiding behind absolute poverty, but even that defence is starting to weaken. Families are looking to the Government to immediately address problems of low pay, high rents and a weakened social security system.

“JRF has consistently supported the principles of Universal Credit, but only if implemented in a way that loosens the grip of poverty and does not push people into destitution. As a country, we must not stand by while more working families are trapped in poverty. Child poverty can be solved if given the attention it needs.”