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To think there are more people becoming poorer in the UK

142 replies

fullyfurnished · 12/04/2021 11:05

I don't know if it's because I am and live in a working class area but I can see my area becoming more run down, loads more people on the streets, more crime, loads of people unemployed. I've been living in this area for over ten years and things are just going downhill. I know covid has resulted in alot of job losses but the slow decline has been gone on for awhile now.

Anyone else noticed this in their area?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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WorraLiberty · 12/04/2021 11:17

I noticed it in my area even before COVID.

I don't think it's necessarily people becoming poorer (it's a very poor area anyway), but more that the council has no money to keep on top of fly-tipping/graffiti removal/community events etc.

And of course the lack of funding for police is woeful.


skirk64 · 12/04/2021 11:33

We've been getting poorer since the financial crash of 2008. Wages have been stagnating for over a decade (if you manage to keep your job) whilst the cost of living has risen sharply.

My council tax has risen at about 5% every year for several years. Transport costs go up at above inflation levels. I got made redundant a few years back, this month my pay will finally return the level it was in 2012.


ItscoldinAlaska · 12/04/2021 11:57

I think the biggest indicator of poverty in my area has been the lack of people in shops. Less people in supermarkets, IKEA, clothes shops, shopping centres etc. Town centres are ghost towns around here. Some of this can be explained as online shopping has increased, obviously covid has closed non essential retail but I live near but work in the poorest city in Yorkshire and do a job that relates to poverty and the local community (health researcher) and have data looking at household expenditure, people just do not have as much disposable income.

Food insecurity is massive here. The supermarkets and town centre footfall was dwindling pre covid. Now it has fallen off a cliff. The access to foodbanks has risen in direct line with it. The health implications of food insecurity keeps me awake at night. Those children eating poor quality nutrition are future health catastrophes. And that is just physical health. The psychological impact of food insecurity is even more problematic. A reduction in household income isn't just about the economy, the tendrils effect so many other areas.


savvy7 · 12/04/2021 12:03

Not in my immediate area but I have noticed a greater gap in wealth..


VladmirsPoutine · 12/04/2021 12:05

Yes - I've noticed this too. Yet the Tories are still polling relatively highly. I wonder if people just enjoy suffering.


Bargebill19 · 12/04/2021 12:10

Crime and general neglect by the council has not helped in causing a downturn in the area. Our police are not seen from year to year, no pcso, and we are next to 2 main highways - criminals find it all to easy to strike and disappear.
It’s also noticeable that a minority are very wealthy and getting more wealthy as the years go on, whilst their employees and tenants are visibly struggling.


thebillyotea · 12/04/2021 12:17

The lack of funding to schools, police, hospitals has been shocking. Labour is just as to blame as the tories, and now we have the Covid bill looming, the next years/ decades will be awfully grim.

Individual people locally have saved a fortune with the lockdowns, as you would when you have no life and nothing to spend on. Houses are being refurbished, extended all over the place, you can't find a builder or painter or landscaper that is not booked until next year!

I have also noticed the amount of luxury chelsea tractors that are taking over. Not sure why, but people seem to have gone crazy with their car purchase.


FoxyTheFox · 12/04/2021 12:17

Yes - I've noticed this too. Yet the Tories are still polling relatively highly. I wonder if people just enjoy suffering

I think its more that the Tories are very adept at giving people someone to hate - immigrants, the EU, people on unemployment benefits, and so on. Shit rolls downhill so as long as there is someone beneath them in the pecking order and they continue to believe that "things will get better if we can tackle the problem of " then they'll continue to vote Tory. Obviously other reasons to vote Tory exist but in the area I live (red wall area that turned blue) the prevalent reason given for voting Tory for the first time is that "Boris said he'd get us out of the EU and then we'll have more jobs/money/opportunities" none of which are yet to materialise


MildredPuppy · 12/04/2021 12:21

i think its the result of austerity. If you underfund everything for years its going to get run down. I know a little about school finances for instance, so initially you rely on your reserves combined with cutting the things you buy in - less added extras, less materials, lower quality materials, then you start putting off annual maintenance as it looks alright now, then you cut your staffing etc. Initially it all looks ok and you think the cuts haven't had an impact, but after a number of year of this, the cracks start to show. This is repeated across every public service in the country.

I also think that minimum wage had an unintended impact where lots of jobs just migrated down to minimum wage and there has been stagnation of middle incomes with increasing automation and jobs going abroad. There are still good jobs with good pay, but less of them and less of a bridge between lower paid jobs and better paid jobs. Every time i see big job losses announced, they always seem to be slightly better paid jobs and when i see new jobs created, they tend to be lower paid jobs.


OneRingToRuleThemAll · 12/04/2021 12:22

I think the gap between those who have money to spend and those who don't is widening. People are either better off than ever, or in dire straits. There seems to be no middle ground.


DynamoKev · 12/04/2021 12:24


Yes - I've noticed this too. Yet the Tories are still polling relatively highly. I wonder if people just enjoy suffering.

I've never understood this British disease of continually voting to be shat on. I think John Major was genuinely surprised to win in 1992, considering that after all the "wonderful" years of Thatcher we had rising unemployment, high interest rates and high inflation. I always thought a part of him hoped Labour would win so the Tories could blame everything on them (even though we'd had Troy rule for ages). That for me was the start of a realisation that Tory governments can get elected no matter how much they shit on us.

DynamoKev · 12/04/2021 12:30

Just to add - I have never subscribed to (or understood) the retort that "labour would have been worse" in any given circumstance. It's unknowable. I bitterly regret most of the Thatcher "reforms" (none of which I voted for) but we can't know what the outcome would have been without her. France never had a Thatcherite "revolution" and yet has managed to keep a sizeable car industry with some local ownership.


peak2021 · 12/04/2021 12:44

Covid 19 has just speeded up what has been happening in the UK for at least 40 years.


osbertthesyrianhamster · 12/04/2021 12:49

YANBU. Gap between those who are comfortable and the poor is growing, IME.


ItscoldinAlaska · 12/04/2021 12:55

I think those who are comfortable are absolutely fine with remaining comfortable and turning a blind eye to those who are struggling. As long as their lifestyle is being maintained they fail to even bother acknowledging there is a problem.


Sunshinedrops85 · 12/04/2021 13:16

Yes I believe Britain is becoming a case of survival of the richest.

Food prices alone have risen because of covid & Brexit. My cat's treats went up by 30p. That's just one item. Every small increase adds up and i think it's going to get even worse.


fullyfurnished · 12/04/2021 13:17

skirk64 yes actually since the crash DH has had 3 redundancies last one was last year due to covid. He is the main earner and his salary has decreased too.

OP posts:

randomlyLostInWales · 12/04/2021 13:21

When we moved here area was on the up - expanded shopping area local secondary doing well - it's been a slow steady decline since - more and more shops leaving city and until covid a steady growing tent city in srrounding areas.

I think here UC credit and the expanding tents were linked but there's been a steady decrease in shopping partly due to better competion from nearby cities and towns - it's in sort of a death spiral. Less shops and variety and less stock more likely people are to go on-line or elsewhere - and thus fewer shops.

I think there are fewer places for people to spend locally and more visible absolute poverty with the tents so it's hard to gauge if people are becoming poorer - though local house prices have shot up considerably since we moved here which won;t help with disposiable income.


AcornAutumn · 12/04/2021 13:21

This has been going in in my area for ages.

I think it's deliberate in terms of the council raising rents etc as they have a clear plan for change, which involves ousting small businesses. Ironically I think covid might have delayed council action.

Couple of neighbours who lost their jobs are now being threatened with eviction but I thought they couldn't be evicted at the moment, i might be wrong.

Someone else who couldn't pay their rent has done a night time flit. It's going to get a lot worse.


randomlyLostInWales · 12/04/2021 13:26

Every year council services have been cut drastically and food banks are more and more visisble - asking for donoations and help.

I image covid and brexit haven't made anything better for the local population or local budgets.


Ritasueandbobtoo9 · 12/04/2021 13:27

A lot of issues stem from councils have to make massive savings as central governments are giving them less. This means higher rents, selling off buildings, higher council tax and focusing the money they have on providing care and education.


AcornAutumn · 12/04/2021 13:30


A lot of issues stem from councils have to make massive savings as central governments are giving them less. This means higher rents, selling off buildings, higher council tax and focusing the money they have on providing care and education.

Shame no one told Croydon council....

The councils for me, mum, sister and best friend are all operating on "spend as much as you can on consultancy for nothing". That's two Labour and two Tory. But there's not much to choose between them now.

Alsohuman · 12/04/2021 13:32

The lack of funding to schools, police, hospitals has been shocking. Labour is just as to blame as the tories

How on earth do you work that one out? We haven’t had a Labour government for 11 years. What we did have was years of Tory austerity while Cameron and his merry men were feathering their nests.


bananapumpkin · 12/04/2021 13:36

Honestly, some of the posts on this thread are eye-opening for me. I live in a very affluent area and most people seem to have loads of spare money, having not been able to go on holiday, eat out etc. for the last year.

@ItscoldinAlaska I think part of the issue is that people who are comfortable generally live around others who are comfortable and so don't see those who are struggling. Hearing about it in the news doesn't have the same impact - it's much easier to empathise with people you meet in your daily life. Now most well-off people are working from home, they aren't really seeing anyone outside their own bubbles.


Mytiredeyeshaveseenenough · 12/04/2021 13:39

Where the hell does the money go? Taxes never seem to drop but what do we get for it? You build a client state and remove responsibility from people and this is what happens.

As for shops being an indicator of anything, the high streets have been dying for years. The shift to shopping centres and out of town supermarkets started it and the internet has simply been the nailgun in the coffin.

I'm also somewhat cynical about what poverty is out there. If the local McD's franchise can turn over in the region of £40 million a year, it doesn't sound like everyone is on their uppers at all.

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