Our personal finances are one of the last great taboos, but while employment is at a record high in Britain, more and more working households are privately struggling to make ends meet. In this series, families from across the UK reveal what it really means to be in work, but still only ‘just about managing’.
With the cost of living rising, and over four million working-age adults now working in the gig economy, Broke follows nine families during a critical year as their financial future hangs in the balance.
Steve and his son Billy are casual workers from Hastings. Steve is desperate to find full-time work but he is unlikely to be considered without a permanent address. Despite being homeless for six months, they do not qualify as a top priority for council accommodation. The father and son will do anything they can to escape the cycle of homelessness and unemployment and avoid relying on foodbanks.
Tyrone left home at 16 after his relationship with his mother broke down. He is determined to secure a privately rented room after spending two weeks homeless. As he is under 18, he isn’t eligible for housing benefit. He works on a zero-hours contract at McDonalds, which means he can’t guarantee that he will earn enough money each week to cover his rent.
Angelica is an Ecuadorian migrant working in London. She studies English all day and works night shifts as a cleaner at a luxury car dealership. She was suspended by her employment agency after requesting a pay rise to the London living wage. Due to the high cost of living, she is forced to consider leaving London and being separated from her son. With the help of a union, she is struggling for her right to fair pay and to keep her family together. Show less