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Is there such a thing as "severe poverty" in the UK?

306 replies

Niceguy2 · 25/03/2011 23:45

I'm being serious. I'm not talking about poor. Obviously there are plenty of people who either are poor or think they are. But I mean severe poverty.

I just read the Save the Children child poverty report which claims that 1.6million children live in severe poverty. And they define "severe poverty" as a family of 1 child who has an income of less than £7000 (or 2 kids with income < £12k).

But a quick tot up of benefits tells me that a family with 1 child would get the following each year:

Income Support £3412
Tax Credits £2850
Child Benefit £1055
Total 7317

And that's before you take into account housing benefit, council tax, free school dinners etc etc. So to me, no UK family should fall into that definition.

Then the report goes on to say they say someone is living in poverty if basic necessities are not met such as not "having enough shoes", not being able to pay for "home contents insurance" or children missing out on "having friends round" or "school trips".

When I hear "poverty" I think of children living in the streets with no food, not being unable to go on a school trip!

So given all that, is there such a thing as severe poverty in the UK? Or is it as I suspect that some families just can't manage their money?

I'm not trying to argue that £7k is a lot of money. I'm just saying that if that's the definition and the state gives you more, then surely there isn't such a thing?

OP posts:
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swallowedAfly · 30/03/2011 18:15

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swallowedAfly · 30/03/2011 18:15

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aliceliddell · 30/03/2011 18:19

so glad you think Lubberlich (hi!) and I are genuinely in need. naturally, we will be only to glad to undergo any humiliation I mean tests in order to prove that we and our children are 'genuine' to demonstrate our honesty. Has it never occurred to you lot that every time you mention the word "genuine" it raises the possibility that we're not? Worth it to make sure you're not squandering money though, especially now the con-dems cleared up the (bailed out) bonusses and the tax evaders....

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Jogon · 30/03/2011 18:21

Some posters have said they PERSONALLY would be better off booting their husbands out.

That is a fact.

I have commented that that isn't right and that single parents have it RELATIVELY okay compared with working couple son very low wages.
Quite how that makes me a " judgemental nasty piece of work stirring hatred " I don;t know but if it makes you happy to sling it, fire away.

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Jogon · 30/03/2011 18:23

Alice.

I'm sure you are genuine. But do I think you should be better off than working people?

No. I don't. I think work should always pay so that means raising wages not necessarily cutting welfare but it does mean encouraging and helping people to find work and work that pays.

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swallowedAfly · 30/03/2011 18:34

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 18:40

"And they wonder why so many kids are being born to single mothers?"

takes 2 to tango you know.

My children were born to the same father, he was present at all their births, and what's more - we were married. Same as many other single mothers - did you know that

Benefits for LP's are - yes - higher than for a couple. Do you know why that is? Because in a couple - you can (if needs must) work opposite shifts, or if one doesn't work at all then there will be a SAHP to look after the children. Being a LP severely restricts the hours you can work unless you have a very good relationship with your ex, family close by or live somewhere with exceptional childcare.

It's not always pleasant to work opposite shifts (I know exH - when he was a "DH" and I did it, I went to work from 9.45pm-7am, he would leave for work around 10am and come home at 9.30pm). As a lone parent I couldn't do that now - work nights - who would look after my children. If I had a partner then I would have the option of working nights (though given the sleep issues it gave me it would have to pay more than the minimum wage like my last night job did......).

Housing benefit varies across the country. It won't matter whehter you're a single parent or in a couple - you'll get the same allowance as it's based on number of children, number of single adults, and number of *couples - a couple with be expected so share a room (naturally Grin) so the amount that a couple on benefits with 3 children could claim for HB would be indentical to that of a family with a lone parent. Likewise, the rate for a working couple (or lone parent) would be the same just with some deductions.

. Round here for a family that's entitled to the 3 bedroom allowance gets £126.92.

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 18:48

housing benefit rates vary across the country don't forget.

plus I think (irrc) the mortgage interest payments are only made for a maximum of 2yrs (and you may or may not get lucky with your mortgage provider in terms of whether they expect you to pay the capital off while the interest is being paid.......) - oh and I'm not sure if it's still 13 weeks you have to wait before they make the first payment, or whether it's gone back up to 26 months - so you'd have either 3 or 6 months with nothing being paid on the mortgage.

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 18:51

and believe me - presuming I had a decent man - I'd much rather go back to the co-parenting, low income working family scenario than where I am now.

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swallowedAfly · 30/03/2011 18:55

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noodle69 · 30/03/2011 19:06

I think what I see a lot in my profession is children who dont have proper fitting clothes and the bare minimum to survive. Sometimes that can be due to the parents having alcohol and drug dependencies. That can mean the children are in severe poverty and also can be experiencing forms of neglect.

I think there are many people coping on low wages/incomes in the UK. I think it is nothing like relative poverty but I think the rich/poor divide means that we are seperated in to haves and have nots. Not neccesarily access to material possesions but to opportunities, decent jobs and pay etc.

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mamatomany · 30/03/2011 19:09

Opportunities and jobs are thin on the ground, DH and I had to start our own business to get ourselves sorted after redundancies, we are still nowhere near straight, income has dropped by 350k but i'm not kidding myself we are in poverty, we would be better off splitting up though.

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mamatomany · 30/03/2011 19:10

£50k not £350k

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noodle69 · 30/03/2011 19:13

I live in a place where it is mostly minimum wage work unfortunately. Nowhere in our county means the national average on wages. It is the location and it is hard to pull yourself up and support yourself I think here. I think a lot of people struggle either at the moment due to recession or due to their location.

I was thinking 350k seemed a little high mama Grin

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 19:37

"I think it is nothing like relative poverty "

but it IS relative poverty - or do you mean it's not absolute poverty???

mama - I was thinking - wow - not surprised you're feeling it if you've dropped 350k of salary Grin


Mama - it might seem like a better deal as a lone parent, don't get me wrong there are some great parts of it - but my gd it can be bloody hard work. I actually preferrred 2005......................when exH (then a DH) and I tried to set up our own business, it never took off and we floundered (badly!), and had to work hideous hours to get back even on a vaguely even keel. I think the worst part of it actually is the lack of freedom - I can't just turn round and say to a DP/DH - just popping to the shop/pub/see a friend. It's all got to be carefully planned in advance with babysitters, and the works.

Once I'm back at work later this year - once of my 3 DS's is off school ill - there's no option to get a DP/DH to take time off to look after them - it'll come down to me then I have to hope I've got a sympathetic employer.....

What I need.............is a filthy rich man, preferabbly black or mixed race (sorry I have a bit of a thing for them Blush), about 6ft tall, witty, intelligent, good with kids, good in bed, nice smile, nice eyes, few muslces, but not too many - don't want them to look like (or be) a gym freak, not averse to a spot of rough and ready holiday making, but equally ready to splash the cash somewhere nice when we've dishes my kids off to his relatives for the weekend, oh yeah - must have nice relatives............oh - and they must be willing to sit and put up with my attempts at making video/collage things Grin Wink

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noodle69 · 30/03/2011 19:43

Oh sorry absolute poverty Blush

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 19:44

Grin - must be the weather..............or the time of the evening (bedtime in this house), mama losing 350k of income, you telling us there was no relative poverty Grin

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mamatomany · 30/03/2011 19:46

What I need.............is a filthy rich man, preferabbly black or mixed race (sorry I have a bit of a thing for them ), about 6ft tall, witty, intelligent, good with kids, good in bed, nice smile, nice eyes, few muslces, but not too many - don't want them to look like (or be) a gym freak, not averse to a spot of rough and ready holiday making, but equally ready to splash the cash somewhere nice when we've dishes my kids off to his relatives for the weekend, oh yeah - must have nice relatives............oh - and they must be willing to sit and put up with my attempts at making video/collage things

I wouldn't mind all any of that meself Grin

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 19:49

yeah - well I have I a few more "likes" - but I don't want to come across as too picky Wink

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swallowedAfly · 30/03/2011 20:08

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 20:11

ahhh yes - I knew I'd forgotten something important - must preferably want children of his own Grin

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swallowedAfly · 30/03/2011 20:13

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BaroqueAroundTheClock · 30/03/2011 20:20

hahah - I don't want one THAT desperate Grin

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Fresh2death · 30/03/2011 20:20

i work with plenty of people way below these poverty outlines, not to mention the emotional poverty they are in - step outside of your little world and experience others ways of living and their issues and you may understand

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sakura · 31/03/2011 01:37

I've got a bit of a fetish for particular types of men as well...

Oh, sorry, as you were..

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