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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Single parents to be up to £2,850 worse off in 2020

Working lone parents set to be much worse off in 2020 than they would have been if Coalition and Conservative changes hadn’t been made

New research by IPPR, the progressive policy think tank, for the Child Poverty Action Group sets out the scale of the hit faced by some of Britain’s most vulnerable single-parent families.

They show a single parent working 17 hours a week with two children and paying for childcare will be nearly £2,850 worse off in 2020 compared with how well off they would have been in 2020 had the 2010 social security system continued unchanged.

Even those who have help with childcare are significantly worse off (see table below).

With childcare benefits
Without childcare benefits or costs, e.g. because they have family members to help
0 hours
16 hours
17 hours
24 hours
0 hours
16 hours
17 hours
24 hours

These figures take into account changes already made, for example the initial move from Tax Credits to Universal Credit, and the further cuts to Universal Credit that have been announced by the government but not yet implemented.

Carys Roberts, researcher at IPPR, said:

“Our research shows that by 2020 many single parent families will be significantly worse off than under the previous Tax Credits system inherited by the government in 2010.

“It shows the total effects of changes to benefits will be a hit of up to £2,850 a year in 2020 to these vulnerable families, pushing children into poverty.

“Not all of these changes have come into effect yet. In this week’s Budget Philip Hammond must reverse the cuts to Universal Credit.”



Becky Malone 07585 772633

Editor’s notes:

1. The full report 'Broken promises: What has happened to support for low-income working families under universal credit' can be found here.

2. IPPR analysis using the Resolution Foundation micro-simulation model. The model simulates the effect of all in-work taxes and benefits, including childcare support, on the incomes and take-home wages of illustrative households.

3. IPPR aims to influence policy in the present and reinvent progressive politics in the future, and is dedicated to the better country that Britain can be through progressive policy and politics. With nearly 60 staff across four offices throughout the UK, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.

Our independent research is wide ranging, it covers the economy, work, skills, transport, democracy, the environment, education, energy, migration and healthcare among many other areas.