Low-income working mothers are being supported by Save the Children, who have launched a new campaign to stop them falling deeper into poverty.
The Mums United campaign says that the new welfare reforms will push a quarter of a million children deeper into poverty when the new budget is announced.
According to the charity’s research, 150,000 of the poorest single working mothers across the UK could lose around £68 per week under the impending Universal Credit.
Celebrity mother Kym Marsh is backing the campaign, saying: ” Having been a single mum on benefits I completely understand when they say that the best chance kids have of not growing up in poverty is if their mums can work. The problem, though, is not just the cost of childcare – every mums nightmare !! – but also that the government’s new welfare reforms coming in are going to mean work won’t pay for some of the poorest mums out there. So what happens to them and their kids?”
The expense of Childcare costs – which for a day nursery in Bristol can reach more than £50 per day – keeps 56 per cent of mums from being able to take jobs.
Save the Children CEO, Justin Forsyth said: “Universal Credit will help some families, but mums working hard to stay above the breadline are its big blind spot. A single mum on £370 a week simply can’t afford to lose £68. Mothers who want to work more to provide for their children while juggling soaring childcare and living costs should be getting more help, not less. The government must make sure mums who want to work keep more of their incomes and get more support with childcare. Otherwise we’ll see fewer women in the workplace and more children growing up in poverty.”
The Mums United campaign is calling on George Osbourne before the budget is announced to make sure that single working mums keep more of their income before losing any benefits.
The campaign is also asking for the childcare costs for low income families to be returned to 80 per cent from the current 70 per cent it dropped to.
Mr Forsyth continues: “Too many children in this country are going without basics like hot meals or proper clothes because their parents can’t earn enough. We know from other countries that supporting mums who want to work takes children out of poverty, so we need a system which offers mothers that choice. Unless we see movement on childcare and benefits for struggling working mums in this budget, it could be too late for hundreds of thousands of children.”