Today’s TUC study reveals that 29 percent of key worker homes in the North West had children living in poverty.
Using the government’s definition of key workers, the data indicates that the number of North West children growing up in poverty in key worker homes has grown by 23,000, or by 15 percent, over the previous two years, from 151,000 to 174,000.
In the United Kingdom, the North West has the second highest rate of child poverty in key worker homes. Only the North East has a larger proportion of children in key worker households living in poverty.
The TUC cautioned that child poverty rates in homes with key workers are likely to worsen. Throughout Britain, 1 in 5 (19%) key worker households have children living in poverty.
Ministers have announced another year of salary cutbacks in real terms for critical public sector employees.
After a decade of salary freezes and reductions, the labour union claims this will have a terrible effect on frontline employees.
And ministers are also advocating for a salary freeze for essential private sector employees.
According to the TUC, the increased support provided by the Treasury this year to assist families with energy bills would be countered by real-terms wage reductions and other growing expenses of living.
As the United Kingdom teeters on the edge of recession, the TUC asserts that widespread wage repression would lower family spending and demand.
The TUC is urging the government to provide acceptable living standards by increasing the minimum wage immediately and providing all key employees with a pay increase equivalent with the cost of living.
In addition, the union body argued that universal credit should be increased to 80 percent of the actual Living Wage and that child benefit payments should be increased and the two-child limit axed.
TUC Regional Secretary James Mckenna said: “Our amazing key workers got us through the pandemic. The very least they deserve is to be able to provide for their families.
“But the government is locking too many key worker households into poverty.
“Ministers’ heartless decision to hold down pay will cause widespread hardship in the region.
“After the longest wage squeeze in 200 years we urgently need to get more money in the pockets of working families.
“This will help people get through this cost of living crisis and inject much-needed demand into our economy.”
The TUC emphasised that while key workers are being ordered to tighten their belts, city bonuses are skyrocketing.
TUC study published in June found that bonuses in the banking and insurance industry increased by 27.9 percent over the last year, six times faster than average salaries, which increased by 4.2 percent during the same time period.