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From: The Socialist issue 1007, 29 August 2018: NHS: Mass fightback is needed

Search site for keywords: Children - Cuts - Parents - Pay - Benefits - Childcare - School - Family - Poverty - Child poverty

Even working families 49 a week short of paying for kids

10 an hour now!

Scrap benefit cuts!

Even working families can't afford the basic, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)

Even working families can't afford the basic, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Laurel Fogarty

Feed your child or heat the house; buy a school uniform or pay the electricity bill - these are the kinds of impossible choices faced by more and more working parents every day.

The total cost of raising one child is now 150,753 for a couple - and 183,335 for a single parent, according to Loughborough University research.

As the cost of living skyrockets, any small increase in pay is demolished by the freeze on tax credits. It means that take-home pay, even for two parents earning the Tories' misnamed 'national living wage', falls 49 a week short of providing the "no-frills" necessities of decent life for a family.

My own experience as a mother is that the cost of childcare while the parent is at work can rival or even exceed the cost of housing. So it's no surprise that single parents are hit particularly hard.

There is no doubt the Tories are pushing increasing numbers of children into desperate situations. Over the school holidays, as many as one in eight children don't get enough to eat, according to a poll for Kellog's.

What is most startling about these harrowing statistics is that the majority of children growing up in poverty now have working parents.

These children are not struggling because their parents can't find work - or because unemployment benefits are insufficient, although they are. They are struggling because bosses simply do not pay workers enough to support a family.

Bosses and landlords are happy to let our children quite literally starve to defend their profits.


The Socialist Party fights child poverty and the capitalist system that is rigged against workers and our kids. We fight for free childcare, a real living wage for all, and to reverse the cuts to benefits that keep families afloat - along with any barbaric limit on the number of children the state will give the support they need.

But we are fighting for more than just survival for our children. We are fighting for their right to flourish, to take a full part in society and to reach their potential, whatever that might be.

That means opposing Tory and Blairite austerity wherever it threatens our children's futures - from joining thousands on the streets opposing NHS cuts, to taking part in local campaigns to keep our libraries and community centres open.

And it means fighting for a future free from profit-driven inequality and cuts: a socialist world.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 29 August 2018

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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