My adventures & misadventures in parenting & life.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Punished For Being A Couple.

Stay at home mums and couples ARE penalised by the benefit system, economists find.

Couples with children and mothers who stay at home are being penalised by the benefits system which favours lone parents.
The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies found that while the number of couples with children in poverty shot up last year, the numbers of poor single parents came down.
And a third more families with just one parent working are below the poverty line than in 1997.

On Tuesday, the Government was forced to admit that the number of children living in poverty was on the rise for the second year running.
The IFS found a large difference in the fortunes of children depending on whether they live with two parents or just one.

Poverty among children in couple families has gone up by 145,000 over the last two years, while poverty among children in lone parent families has fallen by 14,000.
The biggest increase was among families with one working parent – usually the father – where poverty increased by 111,000.
Twenty per cent of children in these families now live in poverty compared to only 15 per cent two years ago.

Conservative work and pensions spokesman Chris Grayling blamed Gordon Brown's tax credits system, which gives more money to single parents than couples with children.
"It's hardly surprising that we have such a high level of family breakdown when the Government's policies have left couples with children behind,. We have a benefits system that encourages people to live apart and a tax system that no longer recognises marriage. We can't go on like this."

People are said to be in poverty if their household income is less than 60 per cent of the median, or midpoint figure.
This equates to an income of less than £226 per week based on a couple with no children.

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