FLINTSHIRE and Wrexham has a higher proportion of poverty among working households than those out of work, a study has revealed.
A report released by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed that the North-East Wales region, incorporating the two county boroughs, had a proportionally high level of in-work poverty, when taken against its total working age population.
Flintshire and Wrexham has nine per cent of all the 16-64 year olds in Wales. But its share of Wales’ people below the poverty line while claiming working tax credit is higher, at 11 per cent.
Of the Wrexham and Flintshire people classed by the study as out of work, or people claiming out-of-work benefits, only eight per cent are classed as poor.
The report highlights that a lack of jobs, reduced hours and low pay have all had a factor in causing working families to feel the squeeze.
Community leaders have expressed disappointment at the figures.
Delyn MP David Hanson said: “We in the Labour Party are committed to a living wage to ensure that those in Flintshire and across the UK have a decent standard of living.
“The current economic climate is hitting Flintshire residents hard. I’m really concerned at the impact on people who are in work but who are being penalised by changes in government policy.”
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: “The reality is for most workers they just aren’t seeing the effects of any recovery.
“Despite Government claims that Britain is turning a corner, there is a great deal of insecurity in employment at the moment and the effects of that will, ultimately, be felt in the economy.
“People are being told one thing but the reality in their pay packets and their household budgets tells them something very different.”
In total, around 690,000 people were living in low-income households in Wales in 2011/2012.
The report also found that a quarter of employees earning less than the living wage of £7.45 were in poverty, compared to three per cent of those earning more.
Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami said: “This demonstrates that there’s still a large amount of wage inequality in Wales and that the minimum wage was an important milestone. But we now need to look towards a living wage to secure people’s standard of living.”
The report blamed the levels of in-work poverty on people being unable to work the number of hours they wanted, as well as being paid low wages.