Coalition benefit cuts mean 'unacceptable' poverty is increasing, says Oxfam

Tue, 22/04/2014 - 13:29 -- nick

The coalition's benefit cuts have pushed 1.75 million more people into even deeper poverty, according to a new report.

The study, by Oxfam and NPI, shows that the drop in the value of benefits, increased by less than inflation, and direct cuts to housing benefit and council tax benefit have meant some of the UK's poorest citizens have got worse off under the current government.

This group has seen a cut in their overall incomes and struggle to afford life's basics including food and energy.

Jobcentres make official referrals to food banks despite government denials

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 12:54 -- nick

Jobcentres are using an official process for referring unemployed people to food banks - despite the government's denials that these facilities form part of the welfare state.

A freedom of information request by The Guardian has uncovered a six part flowchart called 'Food Bank Referral Service - High Level Process', an official Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) document that leaves Iain Duncan Smith with huge questions to answer.

Food emergency in UK as poverty and benefit cuts hit home

Wed, 04/12/2013 - 17:40 -- nick

Food poverty has grown in the UK to a point of national health emergency - and benefit cuts are to blame.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the scientists and public health experts said the rise in starvation and food bank use bore the hallmarks of a national medical emergency.

In a letter the group points the finger at the government's benefit cuts, citing evidence from the UK's biggest food bank provider the Trussell Trust:

Workers in poverty as ten years of falling wages bite

Thu, 17/10/2013 - 12:10 -- nick

Many working people in low paid jobs are stuck in poverty with no route out, a report has said.

The government's Social Mobility Tsar, ex-Labour minister Alan Milburn, says that work no longer consistently pays enough to lift people out of poverty.

Wages for most have been stuck below inflation since 2003, meaning they have been getting poorer for ten years.

The government will miss its child poverty targets because of this as well as its savage cuts to benefits.

The poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer

Fri, 04/10/2013 - 12:11 -- nick

The poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, a Guardian study has shown.

The trend is likely to get worse: the Office for Budget Responsibility says that, even though the poorest in the country saw an income rise up to 2012, planned cuts in government spending will see them receive 3.4% less income between 2007 and 2016.

There are three main ways of judging the issue, and all show a downturn in the fortunes of the worst off:

Tories to consider raising minimum wage as in-work poverty rises

Tue, 03/09/2013 - 13:53 -- nick

The Conservative party is considering ways of raising the minimum wage, the BBC is reporting.

Options include offering tax breaks to companies that pay more than the minimum and changing the law to force all but the smallest companies to pay a higher rate.

The minimum wage now stands at £6.19 per hour for older workers and will rise to £6.31 in October.

Getting work does not end poverty - Children's Society

Tue, 03/09/2013 - 12:27 -- nick

Moving into work does not end a family's poverty, the Children's Society has revealed.

While 150,000 fewer children are living in workless families now compared to a year ago, in-work poverty has been rising as the government's cuts to tax credits bite.

This is a long term issue, with working poverty increasing since 2004 as the value of wages for the bottom half of earners has fallen consistently even as those at the top outstrip inflation.

Unemployed people receive only half the income they need

Fri, 28/06/2013 - 16:18 -- nick

Unemployed people without children receive only half the income they need to live a basic life, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

The anti-poverty charity also says that those with children receive a third less than needed, forcing more young people into poverty.

The report shows that single people need to earn at least £16,850 a year before tax in 2013 for a minimum acceptable living standard, while couples with two children need to earn at least £19,400 each.

Universal Credit could cut poverty, says TUC

Fri, 21/06/2013 - 15:04 -- nick

The new Universal Credit system could help cut poverty, the TUC has suggested, but only by spending more money on it.

Writing in its ToUChstone blog, Alison Garnham says that current benefits policies, including increasing them by less than the rate of inflation, are designing poverty into the system and ensuring the number living on an insufficient income is increasing.

She points out that increasing key elements of Universal Credit, including the value of the child elements or the limit up to which a family can retail earnings, could lift more children out of poverty.

Sanctions and low benefits lead to big rise in food bank use

Thu, 30/05/2013 - 12:26 -- nick

More than half-a-million people in Britain are now regularly forced to use food bank handouts to survive.

A report by Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam, 'Walking the Breadline', shows that "some of the increase ... is caused by unemployment, increasing levels of underemployment, low and falling income, and rising food and fuel prices."



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