A new report from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found that working families are struggling to afford a basic standard of living.
The report, titled “Cost of a Child in 2014″ is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and explores the living costs of families earning the national minimum wage. It finds that families working full-time jobs are falling short of the basic standard of living by 18%, as a result of a combination of low wages, benefit cuts and rising costs of childcare. The shortfall increases to 43% for those currently out of work, with the cost of raising a child having risen from 8% to 11% since 2012.
The annual “Cost of a Child” report, now in its third year, calls for the government to do more to protect children and families from poverty, estimating the weekly cost of raising a child – including rent, council tax and childcare costs – at £164.19 for couples and £184.50 for lone parents.
Since 2012, cuts and freezes to benefits have left many parents worse off, with child benefit covering 19.2% of the cost of raising a child, down from 20% in 2012. Since 2008, the cost of childcare has risen by 42%, representing twice the official inflation rate.