Paying the price: Single parents in the age of austerity
At Gingerbread, we know single parents do a fantastic job. We also know
the recession and changes to taxes, benefits and public services are
making life more and more difficult for many single parent families.
While some claim ‘we’re all in this together’, there are growing
concerns that single parent families are bearing the brunt of these
With funding from Trust for London and the Barrow Cadbury Trust,
Gingerbread is undertaking a three-year research project to look at how
single parent families are faring during the ‘age of austerity’. You
can read more about our project aims and research methods on our About the project page.
'Paying the Price: The impact of the Summer Budget on single parent families' looks at the combined impact of reforms to welfare, tax and pay proposed in July 2015 on single parents in the UK.
Read our press release, or download the findings (PDF)
The report found:
• Single parents will suffer significant losses:
By 2020/21, single parents will lose 7.6 per cent (£1,300) of their income a year on average, even after taking into account tax and wage gains
• Single parents are the worst hit by the combined reforms:
They lose seven times more income than couple parents as a share of income, and nearly three times as much in cash terms
• Low income working single parents are hit hardest:
Working single parents in the poorest fifth of incomes lose more than those in the poorest fifth of incomes who are out of work.
Gingerbread is concerned that single parents are again paying the price of welfare reform, having already borne the brunt of previous cuts; we urge the government to:
The government should pause reforms until their full impact is assessed and understood, particularly in terms of income and work incentives
The government aims for a ‘higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare’ economy, but it must ensure this is not achieved at the expense of low income families – particularly those in work
The government can make alternative choices in reaching its economic and political goals – around redistributing cuts, slowing the pace of change or reallocating spending to ensure policies more effectively support low income families and make work pay.
• Gingerbread press release