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A third of respondents had dependent children (defined here as children aged 16 or under) in the UK, although only 25% lived with their children.

A significant proportion of people (over one third) also had dependants (whether children or other relatives) living abroad. Indeed, over two thirds of respondents made financial remittances to other countries. Such remittances are evidence of the strong and ongoing transnational links that many of the UK's migrant workers have with other countries, but may also be a potentially significant drain on people's income.

Thus, contrary to the popular image of the lone male migrant, almost half of all respondents were women, and the majority lived in family units. This is important not least because the very low wages reported here are often needed to support families both in the UK and abroad.

Half of all respondents had other members of their households in work and in the majority of cases, the second earner was the respondent's spouse or partner, but also included family members other than children and parents. The majority of other household members in employment also worked in low paid service work, such as cleaners (25%) customer service assistants at supermarkets, security guards and bus drivers. This evidence suggests that low paid work is concentrated in particular households, often where there are dependent children at home. In order to survive, such households have two or more adults in work each earning very low rates of pay.

Finally, it is striking that of those with dependent children under 16 at home, only a small proportion (one third) claimed Child Benefit and/or Child Tax Credits. Whether because they were ineligible, or eligible but not claiming, this suggests that benefits designed to contribute to the income of Britain's poorer families are not reaching their target in London. The uptake of other benefits was also low, with just over 1 in 10 households receiving Housing Benefit or a reduction in Council Tax.


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