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Challenges ahead for working families

Welfare Reform and Working Families Report

[click link above to download full report]

We are really proud to publish this new report.  It combines results from a national study with a detailed analysis of over 120 local working residents in Rushmoor affected by planned cuts to tax credits.

The report gives comprehensive background information and analysis, and firmly sets the context in the local area.

Putting the spotlight on the fact that people in work are already experiencing real deprivation and poverty, the report counters the assumption that only those who are out of work are affected by welfare reform.  By highlighting the impact of reductions to in-work benefits on families, it also draws attention to worrying levels of child poverty.

In Citizens Advice Rushmoor we are determined to ensure that the position of local working families is not overlooked, and that the authorities who set local policies and priorities take this important group into account wherever needed.

The report can make shocking reading in parts, with the level of hardship experienced by working families drawn into sharp focus, such as one respondent who said

In the 1980s, there were roughly 6,500 ED patients a year. By 1982, this number had grown to 18,200.

“We are really, really struggling, with only me working… it just goes. Gas and electric are pay as you go, but we are not even always ok with that… We are having to pay bills with the kids money, they are going with nothing really. We have even used food banks sometimes, that has helped.”

Other examples in the report serve to further highlight this experience, along with hard data and charts to illustrate key points.

Our thanks to the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring this report together: a mix of student volunteers and our wider team, who together have ensured a thorough and detailed piece of research.