Response to JRF report showing child poverty is rising

Tuesday 4 December 2018

YWT logoResponding to today’s (Tuesday, 4 December) Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on UK poverty, which finds that child poverty is rising because more working parents are unable to make ends meet, Young Women's Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:

“To tackle rising child poverty, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is right that we need to help parents out of low pay. 

“Young Women’s Trust has found that four in 10 young women are struggling to make their cash last to the end of the month and a quarter say they are in debt all the time. We know this is even harder for young mothers, many of whom find that an hour’s childcare is more than an hour’s wages. 

“We agree with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that employers have a responsibility to help tackle poverty by paying the real living wage and providing training to employees, especially women, to help them progress to higher roles. The Government could also make life easier for the million young people who earn a lower minimum wage solely due to their age by extending its so-called ‘National Living Wage’ to everyone.” 


Notes to editor:

1) Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 in England and Wales trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.

2) The Joseph Rowntree Foundation today (Tuesday, 4 December) released its ‘state of the nation’ report on UK poverty levels.

3) Young Women’s Trust has found that young people are struggling to make ends meet because they can legally be paid a lower minimum wage than their older counterparts. The National Living Wage – which is lower than the real living wage – does not apply to under-25s, meaning they can be paid less for the same work. The charity released a report on the issue recently, which can be found here:

4) Young Women’s Trust commissioned Populus Data Solutions to conduct a survey of young people. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year olds and 1,115 54-72 year olds in England and Wales, with panel services provided by Populus Live, were surveyed between 29 June-16 July 2018. The survey found that:

a)  four in ten young women (40 per cent) say it is a “real struggle” to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 29 per cent of young men. This rises to 58 per cent of women aged 25 to 30;

b) 28 per cent of young women and 21 per cent of young men say that their financial situation has got worse in the last 12 months;

c) 39 per cent of young women have been offered zero-hours contract, compared to 32 per cent of young men. In 2017 the figure was 33 per cent of young women;

d) 27 per cent of young women say their level of debt has got worse in the past year and one in four (23 per cent) say they are in debt “all of the time”; and

e) just five per cent of young women are currently debt free and 37 per cent don’t think they will be debt-free by the age of 40.

5) Young Women’s Trust commissioned YouGov to carry out a poll of those making employment decisions in 2018. The total sample size was 816 senior HR professionals / people managers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th April - 7th May 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the UK business population by size, sector and region. The survey shows that four in five employers (79 per cent) said that young people should be paid the same as older people for the same work. This includes 77 per cent of small- and medium-sized organisations. 

6)  For more information or to speak to a young woman who is affected, please contact Bex Bailey on 07963018281 or