There are approximately 2,800,000 children living in poverty in the UK today. This is around 21% of all children. This is children living in households with less than £374 to live on each week.
The 'poverty line' is widely defined as 60% of the median income’. In the UK the median income for a couple with 2 children is £623 per week. 60% of that is £374 per week. Families with income per week of less than £374 per week are living in poverty . This is total income and not disposable income. This £374 has to cover housing, all utilities, food, clothing, travel, insurance, savings, leisure, hobbies and so on.
Many families that are in poverty are 'workless', in that no parent is working. A workless household with a couple and 2 children living in it would receive approximately £270 per week, plus rent and council tax . However, around 62% of children living in poverty live in a household where at least one parent works. This is because low paid jobs, such as those on the minimum wage or part time or temporary contracts, are often not enough to provide an income above the 60% level.
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