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12/06/2019 - New report shows the reality of in-work poverty

paysqueezeNew employment figures have proved the reality of in-work poverty.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that although more people are in employment than in previous years, many are suffering in-work poverty
because wages are not keeping pace with inflation.

The level of wage increases fell from 3.3 percent to 3.1 percent in the last month.

Pat Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity, said: "The majority of families living in poverty have someone in work. The mantra of all recent governments has been that work is the best way out of poverty. Under the present system that's not working out for many. It isn't acceptable that people can work hard and have to make brutal choices about whether to eat or switch on the heating in winter. We have the wealth as a country - it's just not being shared out properly."

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady called for the immediate introduction of a £10-an-hour minimum wage.

She said: “Real pay is still lower than it was before the 2008 crisis and this rate of growth won’t restore decent living standards.”

Pat Harrington welcomed the comments from Frances O'Grady but cautioned: "Raising the minimum wage is, as I'm sure Frances knows, is only part of the solution to in-work poverty. We need to deal with insecure hours where workers don't know what they will earn week-to-week and can have shifts canceled at the last minute."