Single Parents Are Under Pressure
Three-quarters of single parent families are now living below the publicly accepted ‘Minimum Income Standard’ according to new research by Loughborough University. What are the key factors that cause most single parent families from reaching an adequate income?
Despite the fact that six in ten lone parents now work, most of the new jobs have been part time, and those working part-time have become more likely to have inadequate incomes.
Cuts by the Conservative government to working benefits are worsening this situation, as families without enough income from work to make ends meet now receive less help. Cutbacks such as the benefits freeze and the reduction in tax credit and universal credit entitlements risks demonising single parents as hundreds of thousands will be worse off under universal credit.
Marion Davis Head of Policy at OPFS said she was shocked at the latest research findings:
“The government looks like it’s going back to an old-fashioned viewpoint … which is demonising single parents but also working mothers. The ‘Minimum Income Standard’ calculates the amount of money a person needs for a basic 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.
All governments need to recognise that single parent families are under pressure from many different angles. Investing in children is the best long-term investment we can make so we call on the government to unfreeze benefits and tax credits a year early this April.”