Why does the Autumn Statement ignore working families on low pay?

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CSAN, Caritas Social Action Network, today questioned why the Chancellor, George Osborne, had not taken the opportunity to use the Autumn Statement to pledge better support for working families.

Chief Executive, Helen O’Brien said “we welcome today’s commitment to build more affordable housing and fund dementia research, but wonder why the Government did not take this final chance to help working families.

The increase in employment has masked the fact many ordinary families, locked in with poor wage growth and will continue to struggle to make ends meet. The lower than expected income tax receipts provide further evidence that more people are forced to accept low-paid work. It is important for people to work; the reward should be a just wage.

It is a shame the Chancellor did not take this last opportunity to provide workable solutions that will reduce in-work poverty.”

CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) is the domestic social action arm of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. CSAN comprises over 42 Catholic Charities which work across England and Wales supporting children living in poverty, homeless people, disabled people, Travellers, migrants, refugees, prisoners and other marginalised groups.

More information can be found at csan.org.uk

Statistics from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2014 report published last week revealed that two-thirds of those in work now but unemployed a year ago are in low-paid work, median income in 2012/13 was 9 per cent below where it was in 2007/08 and 4 per cent lower than a decade ago and at the same time, wages have fallen, for men and women, working full and part time, for low and high earners.

While research from KPMG reveals that 22 percent of employees now earn less than the Living Wage – up from 21 percent, last year and in real terms this equates to 147,000 people (KPMG, Modest rise in workers paid less than the Living Wage masks more uncomfortable truth, November 2014).