Deprivation Britain: Poverty is getting worse - even among working families, according to major new study

(17 Posts)
ttosca Wed 02-Jul-14 19:11:18

The number of impoverished households has more than doubled in the 30 years since Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, the largest study of deprivation ever conducted in the UK has concluded.

The research found that rises in the cost of living mean a full-time job is no longer enough to prevent some people from falling into poverty. One in every six adults in paid work is now defined as "poor".

Last night the Government’s poverty tsar Frank Field said the study’s stark findings proved the Coalition’s approach to the problem “isn’t working” and called for the leaders of all political parties to make manifesto pledges to reverse the rise.

The Poverty and Social Exclusion project, based on interviews with more than 14,500 people in Britain and Northern Ireland carried out by eight universities and two research agencies, reported:

More than 500,000 children live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly
18 million people cannot afford adequate housing conditions
12 million people are too poor to engage in common social activities
About 5.5 million adults go without essential clothing

The survey showed that the percentage of UK households which lacked “three or more of the basic necessities of life” has increased from 14 per cent in 1983, the year that Margaret Thatcher was re-elected (around 3 million), to 33 per cent (around 8.7 million) in 2012, despite the size of the economy doubling in that period. Researchers used the “three or more” formula as it is directly comparable with methods used to study poverty and deprivation in 1983.

Academics said the findings dispelled the myth that poverty is caused by a lack of work or by people shirking work. Almost half the “employed poor” were clocking up 40 hours a week in work or more.

According to separate research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), around half of the UK’s 13 million people in poverty are in a household where someone works. Between 2008 and 2014 the cost of essentials such as childcare, rent, food and energy have driven up the amount needed by almost a third, it said.

Professor David Gordon of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol, which led the project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, said the Government’s strategy of tackling the root causes of poverty had “clearly failed”.

Mr Field, the Labour MP who was tasked by David Cameron to examine poverty in 2010, said the study “sadly emphasises that working doesn’t now eliminate a family’s poverty”.

He added: “Tackling the causes of poverty is clearly the right strategy. This report shows that it isn’t working. Here, then, is a most major challenge to all the political parties – what is your manifesto going to say to reverse the horrendous rise in the numbers of poor?”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “There is strong evidence that incomes have improved over the last 30 years, despite the misleading picture painted by this report. The independent statistics are clear, there are 1.4 million fewer people in poverty since 1998, and under this Government we have successfully protected the poorest from falling behind.”

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/deprivation-britain-major-new-survey-reveals-that-poverty-is-getting-worse--even-among-working-families-9547039.html

ttosca Wed 02-Jul-14 19:11:40

Keep voting for the same clowns - keep getting the same circus.

TucsonGirl Thu 03-Jul-14 22:23:16

I hope you are referring to both Labour and the Tories, Ttosca. And regardless of who people vote for, politicians can only do so much. People need to take some responsibility for themselves and the life choices they make.

AnyoneForTennis Thu 03-Jul-14 23:42:21

Food banks are now tv advertised! shock I noticed that this evening

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 03-Jul-14 23:50:09

This is not "news". It's the reality that many have been living for the last 2 years. But thank you, OP for the link - I'm glad some people can appreciate the scale of the problem.

ttosca Fri 04-Jul-14 18:30:39

> I hope you are referring to both Labour and the Tories, Ttosca.

Of course I am. They are both neo-liberal parties.

> And regardless of who people vote for, politicians can only do so much. People need to take some responsibility for themselves and the life choices they make.

Blaming social poverty on individual choices, eh? How 18th century of you.

Not surprised you are a cheerleader for the psychopathic Tories.

settingsitting Fri 04-Jul-14 19:04:32

Have the benchmarks been moved?
That is what happened last time I got involved in a thread like this.

SwiftRelease Fri 04-Jul-14 19:12:15

Relative v. Absolute poverty. What is the benchmark for relative poverty?
13milion?! Mmmm

ttosca Fri 04-Jul-14 19:18:50

These are the benchmarks:

More than 500,000 children live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly
18 million people cannot afford adequate housing conditions
12 million people are too poor to engage in common social activities
About 5.5 million adults go without essential clothing

settingsitting Fri 04-Jul-14 19:20:14

That is not the income benchmark.
Anyone can get themselves into that position, no matter how much they earn.
Gambling will do it instantly.

ttosca Fri 04-Jul-14 20:18:27

> Anyone can get themselves into that position, no matter how much they earn. Gambling will do it instantly.

Umm.... yeah... so all these people are in that position because of poor choices - is that what you're trying to say?

Nothing to do with social and economic policies? Real-term wage stagnation or decline for the majority of the population? Nothing to do with the relentless attacks on organized labour? Soaring cost of living? Lack of affordable housing?

Seriously?

ttosca Fri 04-Jul-14 20:19:38

What is Neoliberalism?

"Neo-liberalism" is a set of economic policies that have become widespread during the last 25 years or so. Although the word is rarely heard in the United States, you can clearly see the effects of neo-liberalism here as the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer.

The main points of neo-liberalism include:

THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.

PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376

settingsitting Fri 04-Jul-14 21:42:49

Umm.... yeah... so all these people are in that position because of poor choices - is that what you're trying to say?

No. But it can be part of it.
No good not taking everything into account.

But then you dont get replied to much. So I think that you are just sort of doing kiddie venting.

digdeepforanswers Tue 08-Jul-14 11:09:52

The poor? problem is governments know the poor tend NOT to vote. So they get cruelly ignored.

phantomnamechanger Wed 09-Jul-14 21:02:38

It's shocking and sad. I live in the (relatively) affluent south east where unemployment is low. Our local foodbank can hardly keep up with demand and a lot of the people they are helping are families with at least one parent working full time.

It's outrageous that so many people live in desperate poverty in one of the richest countries of the world. And that the state is subsidising employers who pay poverty wages, leaving workers to rely on hand-outs. Why should taxpayers pick up the bill for bad employers?

dawndonnaagain Sun 13-Jul-14 13:52:39

Ahh shit Tucson I take full responsibility for dh going from being a lecturer to being so ill he can do bugger all for himself. It was nothing to do with the infection, nothing to do with it being incurable, nothing to do with the fact that he had a severe reaction to the drugs he was prescribed, so severe he cannot walk. It's all our fault.
Alternatively, you could try engaging your brain before you hit the keyboard. hmm

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