RESEARCHERS are calling for tax credit cuts to to be reversed and high housing costs to be tackled after finding that 60 per cent of people in poverty across the UK live in households where at least one person is in work.

Experts from Cardiff University say the figure is the highest recorded. They found the risk of poverty for adults living in working households rose by more than a quarter, from 12.4 per cent to 15.7 per cent, during the 10-year period from 2004/5 to 2014/15.

Social policy lecturer Dr Rod Hick, who led the study, said he found that the number of workers in a household was more important than low pay in determining in-work poverty.

He said: “There has been a lot of discussion recently about how increasing the minimum wage can help to reduce poverty. However, what our report finds is that less than half of adults experiencing in-work poverty have a low-paid worker in their household and most low-paid workers live in non-poor households.

“Low pay is one of the reasons why in-work poverty occurs, but it’s not the only reason and, indeed, it is a secondary factor behind the amount of work conducted by household members.”

The report analysed data from the Households Below Average Income report for 2014/15, which is the most recent available with micro-data, and compared it to the reports for 2004/5, 2007/8 and 2010/11, along with looking at Understanding Society, a survey of about 40,000 UK households.

The research, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, examined the effectiveness of tax credits in reducing in-work poverty over the past decade.

The study also found that housing costs were an important factor and that those living in private rented accommodation were more at risk of in-work poverty than those in owner-occupied homes.

Hick said: “If policy does not do more to tackle rising housing costs directly, then it seems likely that these will eat up gains made elsewhere.”

The report recommends that the problem of in-work poverty should be high on the policy agenda.