Paying the price: the impact of the Summer Budget on single parent families

Published on 25 October 2015


The 2015 Summer Budget proposed a range of welfare, tax and pay reforms aimed at making work pay and making sure the welfare system is ‘sustainable’. After single parents had already been worst hit by tax and benefit reforms in 2010-15, Gingerbread was concerned that single parents would once again be worse off.

Our analysis, commissioned from IPPR, shows single parents will once again be the worst hit household type by the 2015 Summer Budget reforms (passed under the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016). At a time when their finances are already fragile, we have serious concerns about the impact of these changes on single parents and their children.

Key findings

  • By 2020, the average single parent family will lose 7.6 per cent – £1,300 – of their annual income as a result of tax, pay and welfare reform (compared with a system without reform); couple parents will lose 1.2 per cent of their income on average
  • Working single parents gain just £100 from the high minimum wage, and almost nothing from tax gains – there is little compensation for the significant cuts to benefits
  • Around 1 million single parents will be affected by the cut to the universal credit work allowance (the amount households can earn before universal credit is withdrawn) – they lose £800 on average, with some losing over £2,000.