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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Tag: Britain

In-Work Poverty – Britain

Record 60% of Britons in poverty are in working families – study, By Patrick Butler, May 22, 2017, The Guardian: “A record 60% of British people in poverty live in a household where someone is in work, according to researchers, with the risk of falling into financial hardship especially high for families in private rented housing. Although successive governments have maintained that work is the best route out of poverty, the study by Cardiff University academics says the risk of poverty for adults in working families grew by a quarter over the past decade…”

Working Families in Poverty – Britain

  • Increasing numbers of working people live in poverty, report finds, By Randeep Ramesh, November 25, 2012, The Guardian: “Increasing numbers of people in work are finding themselves in poverty, according to a report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The report highlights the growing incidence of well-educated people on the breadline because of a failure to find a job. The report charts the changes in recent decades in levels of poverty in Britain – and seeks to explain why, despite higher levels of employment and a more qualified workforce, there has not been more success in combating poverty. The Monitoring Poverty report calls for the government to ‘give up the belief that welfare reform’ is the solution and focus instead on the phenomenon of in-work poverty…”
  • The working poor: staggering 6m facing insecurity have jobs, November 26, 2012, London Evening Standard: “Millions of workers are facing insecurity, moving in and out of jobs, and poverty, according to a new report. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said over six million people classed as living in poverty, were in households where people worked. Excluding pensioners, in-work poverty now outstrips workless poverty, while 1.4 million people were now working part-time when they wanted a full-time job, an increase of 500,000 since 2009, said the report…”

Child Care Costs – Britain

  • Childcare costs force poorest families into debt, September 7, 2001, The Guardian: “Britain’s poorest families are getting into debt because of the high cost of childcare, while a third are turning down jobs and 40% are considering leaving work because they cannot afford to pay for someone to look after their children, according to research. Parents spend almost a third of their incomes on childcare – more than anywhere else in the world, according to a study by Save the Children and the Daycare Trust. For four out of 10 families the cost of childcare is on a par with mortgage or rent payments, the study showed. Of those families in severe poverty, nearly half have cut back on food to afford childcare and 58% said they were, or would be, no better off working once childcare was paid for. The research found that parents, regardless of income, cannot afford not to work but struggle to pay for childcare, and despite many parents cutting back their spending almost a quarter are in debt because of childcare costs…”
  • Childcare costs put parents in debt, survey concludes, September 6, 2011, BBC News: “Nearly a quarter of UK parents questioned in a survey by the Daycare Trust and Save the Children say the cost of childcare has put them in debt. The survey of 4,359 parents found 58% had cut spending on other essentials like clothing, heating and other bills. Nearly two-thirds said they could not afford not to work, but struggled to pay for childcare. Four out of 10 families surveyed said the cost of childcare was on a par with their mortgage or rent. The study suggests the cost of childcare has the greatest consequences for the poorest families…”

Housing Subsidies – Britain

London’s poor facing squeeze amid housing-benefit cuts, By Anthony Faiola, June 20, 2011, Washington Post: “The choice of the London A-list, St. John’s Wood is a neighborhood of ethereal wealth, its leafy avenues lined with the ample mansions of Paul McCartney, Ewan McGregor and Kate Moss. And yet, they share the most unlikely neighbors – the Kastrati family. Poor immigrants struggling to survive in one of the world’s most expensive cities, the family of four nevertheless lives in a sunny, two-bedroom flat in an enclave of urban privilege. Their benefactor: the British government, which covers 85 percent of their $3,600-a-month rent through welfare benefits giving tens of thousands of low-income earners access to even the best neighborhoods. But the clock on such subsidized London lifestyles is suddenly running out. The Conservative-led government is rolling out Britain’s most sweeping welfare reform since the 1940s, taking aim at the ballooning bills in cities such as London, where a few families receive as much as $160,000 a year to ensure economic diversity and quality housing for the poor in some of the priciest districts in the world. Yet as benefits are rolled back, academics are warning of a major side effect: an exodus of the poor from central London in numbers not seen since the demolition of soot-caked Dickensian slums in the 19th century…”

Welfare Reform – Britain

  • Britain begins welfare overhaul, By Sarah Lyall, February 17, 2011, New York Times: “The British government on Thursday introduced legislation that it said would simplify and reduce the cost of the country’s welfare system, saying that it wanted to change a culture in which people on welfare risk losing income if they find jobs. Calling his proposals ‘the most ambitious, fundamental and radical changes to the welfare system since it began,’ after World War II, Prime Minister David Cameron said in a speech here that they were based on a simple idea: ‘Never again will work be the wrong financial choice…'”
  • Welfare reform: Find a job or lose benefits, mothers to be told, By Patrick Wintour, February 17, 2011, The Guardian: “All stay at home mothers claiming the government’s new universal credit will be required to make themselves available for work or lose state support, putting them on a par with single parents for the first time. The requirement would apply to mothers with children aged over seven. The proposals came in the government’s welfare bill published on Thursday and were hailed by David Cameron as ‘tough, radical … but fair’. His remarks came as ministers published a raft of figures alongside the bill, for the first time showing the full impact of the introduction of universal credit and other welfare cutbacks announced by ministers. The figures show 1.7m households will lose out from the universal credit reforms…”
  • Welfare reform: ‘most radical shake-up for 60 years’, By Randeep Ramesh, February 17, 2011, The Guardian: “Iain Duncan Smith’s radical welfare bill, perhaps the most significant reshaping of the welfare state in 60 years, aims to simplify the system of subsidies that covers everything from income support to housing benefit to sickness payments. For the government the aim is to remove the benefit traps that see some people lose 90p in every extra pound they earn as means-tested benefits are withdrawn. The new system will be paid for by deep cuts in welfare, as ministers push through savings of £18bn over the next four years. There are signs of an unseemly rush to push through the bill, with details on a new child maintenance scheme published two months before a consultation on the issue is finished…”

Income and Health Inequalities – Britain

  • Poorest in England ‘live seven years less on average’, By Jane Dreaper, February 11, 2010, BBC News: “People in England’s poorest areas live an average of seven years less than those in the richest ones, says a major report on health inequalities. Epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot, says the NHS must spend much more on preventing illness. And he calls for an increase in the minimum wage to allow everyone to have a healthy lifestyle. Health Secretary Andy Burnham has welcomed the government-commissioned report and said more work was needed. The Marmot Review shows that although life expectancy has risen in poor and rich areas, inequalities persist…”
  • Well-off people ‘live seven years longer than those in poorer groups’, By Kate Devlin, February 11, 2010, The Telegraph: “Ministers must act to reduce the gulf between rich and poor, the review, commissioned by the Department of Health, says. Targets to raise life expectancy should be set across each different social class, and updated every 10 years, it recommends. It also suggests parents should be able to share a year of paid leave after having a child, at a level high enough to sustain a healthy life. Action is needed to improve the health of all, according to the report by Prof Sir Michael Marmot, from University College London, but particular attention should be paid to those on the bottom rungs of the social ladder…”

Report: Poverty and Social Exclusion – Britain

  • Poverty in Britain is at a nine year high, says Joseph Rowntree Foundation report, By Christopher Hope, December 3, 2009, The Telegraph: “The Tories said the report was an indictment of the Government’s failure to tackle low earnings and blew ‘Labour’s hollow claim to be the party of poverty.’ The study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the gap between the haves and have-nots started growing in 2004, long before the recession began. The foundation’s report found that the number of people living in ‘low income’ households was now 13.4 million, the highest level since 2000 when it was nearly 14 million. A low income household is one that lives on less than 60 per cent of the average UK household income in the year in question – after housing costs and council tax. For a family of four it is £14,560 a year. The annual report into poverty in Britain also found that nearly one in eight people of working age are out of work – the highest proportion since Labour came to power in 1997. Repossessions were now back at the level they were in 1994, the study said…”
  • Poverty on the rise, says Joseph Rowntree report, December 3, 2009, BBC News: “Poverty has been rising in the UK since 2004 and is now at the same level as the start of the decade, a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says. The group said that issues of unemployment and the repossession of homes had become more acute before the recession started. It said long-term solutions were needed to reverse the poverty trend. But the report also pointed to improvements over the last decade, such as a decreasing fear of crime. It added that 11 to 16-year-olds were getting better basic school results, and there were fewer youngsters thrown out of school. The rate of premature deaths is falling and infant mortality has also dropped over the past 10 years…”