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Poverty report highlights working single parent families

This means children are being excluded from everyday activities and opportunities that an average British child enjoys.

The charity Gingerbread says the estimated 1.7m single parent families are being let down by a lack of government and workplace support.

Its ‘One in Four’ report provides a profile of the families in the UK today headed by a single parent and highlights the progress made in recent years. According to researchers, 68% of single mums or dads are now in work with more than half classed as self-employed.

Poverty report highlights working single parent families
Poverty report highlights working single parent families

However, the charity says that many of those who are self-employed have been forced down that often volatile and low-paid route because of a lack of opportunities and jobs.

Research suggests that there has been a tenfold rise of zero-hours contracts in the last ten years.

Rosie Ferguson, the Chief Executive of Gingerbread is calling on the government to do more to support working single parents: “Single parents are being let down at the moment – there’s absolutely no reason why single parents and their children shouldn’t be able to participate fully in the economy but they are twice as likely to be living in poverty as children in couple families.

“I think that’s a result of the fact that our workforce is not friendly or accessible to people with families.”

Stacey Scannell is an unemployed single mum

Video:‘It’s not living, it’s just maintaining’

The Resolution Foundation is an independent think-tank that aims to improve the standard of living of low and middle-income families.

It is concerned about the impact of Universal Credit on single parent families.

Connor D’Arcy from the organisation said: “single parents are more likely to be in receipt of tax credits and when they move onto Universal Credit, people who are not working and those who are, will face cuts.

“Some of those cuts for families will be quite large, we’re talking over a thousand pounds for some of those families.

“It’s something where the government could act and make a really positive difference for single parents.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We recognise how challenging it can be for lone parents to juggle work and family life.

“That’s why we’ve taken steps to double free childcare, and for the most in need paying up to 85% of their childcare costs under Universal Credit, to support parents back into work.

“Children living in households where someone works are less likely to be in poverty and more likely to do well in school, compared to those growing up in workless households.

“Our support is all about ensuring every child and family has the best chances in life.”

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