Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
This was the exchange I had with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the Commons yesterday after raising the worrying rise of in-work poverty. The Minister argued that work is the best route out of poverty, but under his Government’s toxic leadership this will never become a reality.
The number of working age adults and children in poverty (after housing costs) in households where at least one adult is working increased by nearly two million (1,956,000) between 2010/11 and 2019/20, an increase of over a million children and over 800,000 adults. 75% of children living in poverty have at least one parent who is in work.
Insecure, low-paid work has driven a sharp increase in foodbank usage, while cuts to public sector pay and welfare benefits remove vital avenues of support for those in poverty. For work to be a truly effective route out of poverty, we need better protection for workers, a living wage that people can genuinely afford to live on, and a Government U-turn on its plans to scrap the £20 Universal Credit uplift.