A major plank of the Government's economic policy was thrown into doubt today as a newly published report revealed that many of the Hard Working Families that had been thought to provide the backbone of the UK economy are not working as hard as the Government had believed. The study, looking at the lives of over 1,000 families, discovered that although most of the adult family members included in the survey could claim to be hard working, many of the younger family members were not economically active. The study found that restrictive laws requiring attendance at school acted as a barrier to paid employment, while the long term decline of the chimney sweeping and boot blacking industries had significantly reduced employment opportunities for children.
A Government spokesman said that the conclusions of the report were worrying. "In the global market we must be able to compete with the likes of China, India and Pakistan, all countries that have successfully introduced young children into the job market. We can't hope to compete if we allow children in this country to exploit our generous benefit system and avoid contributing to the ecomomy by working long hours for low pay".