NewsPoverty gap continues to widen in the UK

Poverty gap continues to widen in the UK

People in the deepest levels of poverty need more than double their income to escape it, according to a new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

The UK Poverty 2024 report reveals that a couple with two children under 14 would need an additional £6200 per year to move out of poverty by reaching the poverty line. For a family in very deep poverty, this number increases to £12,800.

In 2021/22, one in five people in the UK were living in poverty, totalling 14.4 million. These included 4.2 million children and 2.1 million pensioners. Of the 8.1 million working-age adults in poverty, 64% lived in working households.

JRF have found that poverty rates started to rise after 2005 and have changed very little since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, staying between 20% and 22% each year. With a general election looming, JRF are asking for parties to address these high levels of poverty with more support for essentials and to expand the ‘foundations of economic security’ in society.

JRF group chief executive Paul Kissack said:

‘It has been almost 20 years and six prime ministers since the last prolonged period of falling poverty in the UK. Instead, over the last two decades, we have seen poverty deepen, with more and more families falling further and further below the poverty line.’

He said that this year ‘will be a year of choices’ and that ‘any political party wishing to form a new government must set out a practical and ambitious plan to turn back the tide on poverty in the UK’.

Pail concluded: ‘That plan – to ensure the dignity and respect of every member of our society – will be essential for achieving any broader ambitions for the country.’

Image | Shutterstock


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