Working families worst-hit by poverty, Joseph Rowntree Foundation report reveals

York Press: Working families worst-hit by poverty, York charity's report reveals Working families worst-hit by poverty, York charity's report reveals

MORE people in working families are living in poverty than those in non-working households for the first time, research published today by a York charity has revealed.

The annual Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion Study, compiled by the New Policy Institute for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), said almost 13 million people in the UK are below the poverty line, and 6.7 million of these live in a family with at least one working adult, 500,000 more than last year.

The report said the decline in average incomes over the last two years has wiped out any benefit from the UK's 'boom' decade, but incomes for the poorest ten per cent of people have been falling for even longer, since 2004/05.

The JRF said this showed that, despite optimistic noises about economic recovery, this was not being reflected in people's pay packets and living standards.

Other findings include:

* The proportion of low-paid jobs in the UK increased in 2012, with 60 per cent of these roles being filled by people over 30.

* As well as the 13 million people living in poverty, a further two million are on incomes which would have seen them fall into this bracket in 2008.

* Five million people were paid less than the Living Wage in 2012, up from 4.6 million in 2011, and half of the working families in poverty have at least one adult who receives less than the Living Wage level.

* The number of jobseekers referred for sanctions (1.6 million) and those whose Job Seekers Allowance payments were stopped or reduced (800,000) doubled between 2010 and 2012.

* 400,000 families have been hit by overlapping benefits cuts from the "bedroom tax" and council tax benefit, two-thirds of which were already in poverty.

However, the study said there were also positive findings, with youth unemployment peaking at 21 per cent but not rising and unemployment as a whole beginning to fall. The number of underemployed people dropped by 100,000 over the last year, and the percentage of pupils receiving free school meals who fail to get at least five GCSEs at grade C or higher has also fallen.

It also said the proportion of pensioners in poverty is at its lowest level for almost 30 years, although this was balanced out by the number of working-age people who do not have children and are in poverty being the highest on record.

The report is compiled through a range of indicators, including Government data, with poverty determined by net household income adjusted for family size and after housing costs are deducted. 

"This research shows millions of people are moving in and out of work, but rarely out of poverty," said JRF chief executive Julia Unwin.

"Hard work is not working. We have a labour market which lacks pay and protection, with jobs offering precious little security and paltry wages which are insufficient to make ends meet. While a recovery may be gathering momentum in the statistics and official forecasts, for those at the bottom, improving pay and prospects remain a mirage. Recent economic improvements do not outweigh the damage inflicted during the downturn to the incomes of the poorest people across the country.

"Our report demonstrates there has been progress in some areas and the tide has turned on employment, but this has not been matched by improvements in wages. We must strengthen our efforts to reduce poverty - it is damaging to the people who experience it and harmful to our economic prospects."

New Policy Institute director and report author Peter Kenway said the "value of the safety net" for working adults was now "sinking steadily" and the support offered to people suffering hardship was "increasingly threadbare" amid benefit cuts.

He said: "A strong safety net to catch those who fall is vital for social mobility - millions are saved by it every year even now - yet no leading politician will defend it."

Comments (11)

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12:46pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Rocking Horse says...

Will the JRF be using any of the £260m in cash and stock market investments that they own to help ease poverty in York, or the profit from the land they have sold to Barratt/DWH at Derwenthorpe ?

No, I doubt it.

Instead they will lobby the Council to take a hard line on private housebuilders to provide social housing, whilst their highly paid executives and research staff keep taking their salaries from the income this 'charity's' investments provide.

It's a case of do as I say, not as I do, with the JRF !
Will the JRF be using any of the £260m in cash and stock market investments that they own to help ease poverty in York, or the profit from the land they have sold to Barratt/DWH at Derwenthorpe ? No, I doubt it. Instead they will lobby the Council to take a hard line on private housebuilders to provide social housing, whilst their highly paid executives and research staff keep taking their salaries from the income this 'charity's' investments provide. It's a case of do as I say, not as I do, with the JRF ! Rocking Horse

1:53pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Alf Garnett says...

You can't make grants without funds. That's what the JRF does, among other things. They not only say but also do. A lot.
You can't make grants without funds. That's what the JRF does, among other things. They not only say but also do. A lot. Alf Garnett

2:06pm Sun 8 Dec 13

CHISSY1 says...

Research shows what a lot of people suspected,if you are a non working family and usually on benefits,you are better off than someone who is working.Not rocket science.
Research shows what a lot of people suspected,if you are a non working family and usually on benefits,you are better off than someone who is working.Not rocket science. CHISSY1

3:43pm Sun 8 Dec 13

nearlyman says...

I doubt that very many people are living in real poverty, there is along distance between want and destitution. There is no one exact defined point at which people should be so categorised.
I doubt that very many people are living in real poverty, there is along distance between want and destitution. There is no one exact defined point at which people should be so categorised. nearlyman

5:29pm Sun 8 Dec 13

PKH says...

A lot of bosses are awarding themselves more and more in bonuses etc. way above inflation, whilst their workers get a below inflation rise if they're lucky, and government policies encourage this.
A lot of bosses are awarding themselves more and more in bonuses etc. way above inflation, whilst their workers get a below inflation rise if they're lucky, and government policies encourage this. PKH

5:48pm Sun 8 Dec 13

browbeaten says...

At one tine i thought jrf was a balanced thinking organisation. Increasingly i think it is being run by a very left leaning oiks who have never done a proper days wprk in their lives.
At one tine i thought jrf was a balanced thinking organisation. Increasingly i think it is being run by a very left leaning oiks who have never done a proper days wprk in their lives. browbeaten

8:35pm Sun 8 Dec 13

MarkyMarkMark says...

browbeaten wrote:
At one tine i thought jrf was a balanced thinking organisation. Increasingly i think it is being run by a very left leaning oiks who have never done a proper days wprk in their lives.
You mean you don't agree with their conclusions?
As opposed to looking at any of their evidence and actually assessing it objectively.

And does this go some way toward dispelling the myth that those who are falling into poverty are all idle and work-shy? And maybe confirm that this present benefits regime is designed to penalise those who try to help themselves?
[quote][p][bold]browbeaten[/bold] wrote: At one tine i thought jrf was a balanced thinking organisation. Increasingly i think it is being run by a very left leaning oiks who have never done a proper days wprk in their lives.[/p][/quote]You mean you don't agree with their conclusions? As opposed to looking at any of their evidence and actually assessing it objectively. And does this go some way toward dispelling the myth that those who are falling into poverty are all idle and work-shy? And maybe confirm that this present benefits regime is designed to penalise those who try to help themselves? MarkyMarkMark

10:57pm Sun 8 Dec 13

courier46 says...

I find it hard to believe that there are only 5 million below the living wage.
I find it hard to believe that there are only 5 million below the living wage. courier46

8:49am Mon 9 Dec 13

nearlyman says...

PKH wrote:
A lot of bosses are awarding themselves more and more in bonuses etc. way above inflation, whilst their workers get a below inflation rise if they're lucky, and government policies encourage this.
Maybe in large companies..........b
ut in thousands of small businesses bosses are taking less to keep their heads above water. And small business is the backbone of the economy.
[quote][p][bold]PKH[/bold] wrote: A lot of bosses are awarding themselves more and more in bonuses etc. way above inflation, whilst their workers get a below inflation rise if they're lucky, and government policies encourage this.[/p][/quote]Maybe in large companies..........b ut in thousands of small businesses bosses are taking less to keep their heads above water. And small business is the backbone of the economy. nearlyman

3:45am Tue 10 Dec 13

Magicman! says...

This report only goes to confirm what most of us already knew, wages are falling in real-world terms whilst (until recently) benefits were staying stable with inflation.... the benefits staying stable though was reasonable, as the idea of them is to support people who have no other income through no intentional fault of their own.

The current government keep baning on about "you're better off in work"... but are they doing this by forcing an increase in wages? no, the spineless George Osbourne is instead slashing benefits, and spending millions of pounds to hire in ATOS to meet a disabled person and say "you have two arms and two legs so no disability benefit for you", which in some crazy (possibly meth-fuelled) idea by Osbourne was supposed to bring lots of monetary savings. It's time to raise wages to match inflation, minumum wage should be £8 an hour to start off with. And for small buisnesses that cannot afford this, the government could part-subsidise it by providing the difference between the current minimum wage and the new minimum wage - the money coming from that not paid out in benefits because more people would be working due to better wages.
This report only goes to confirm what most of us already knew, wages are falling in real-world terms whilst (until recently) benefits were staying stable with inflation.... the benefits staying stable though was reasonable, as the idea of them is to support people who have no other income through no intentional fault of their own. The current government keep baning on about "you're better off in work"... but are they doing this by forcing an increase in wages? no, the spineless George Osbourne is instead slashing benefits, and spending millions of pounds to hire in ATOS to meet a disabled person and say "you have two arms and two legs so no disability benefit for you", which in some crazy (possibly meth-fuelled) idea by Osbourne was supposed to bring lots of monetary savings. It's time to raise wages to match inflation, minumum wage should be £8 an hour to start off with. And for small buisnesses that cannot afford this, the government could part-subsidise it by providing the difference between the current minimum wage and the new minimum wage - the money coming from that not paid out in benefits because more people would be working due to better wages. Magicman!

7:42am Tue 10 Dec 13

nearlyman says...

Magicman! wrote:
This report only goes to confirm what most of us already knew, wages are falling in real-world terms whilst (until recently) benefits were staying stable with inflation.... the benefits staying stable though was reasonable, as the idea of them is to support people who have no other income through no intentional fault of their own.

The current government keep baning on about "you're better off in work"... but are they doing this by forcing an increase in wages? no, the spineless George Osbourne is instead slashing benefits, and spending millions of pounds to hire in ATOS to meet a disabled person and say "you have two arms and two legs so no disability benefit for you", which in some crazy (possibly meth-fuelled) idea by Osbourne was supposed to bring lots of monetary savings. It's time to raise wages to match inflation, minumum wage should be £8 an hour to start off with. And for small buisnesses that cannot afford this, the government could part-subsidise it by providing the difference between the current minimum wage and the new minimum wage - the money coming from that not paid out in benefits because more people would be working due to better wages.
Put up wages Magicman and as sure as night follows day, up will go the prices and the people at the lower end of the income scale will be no better off. Its harsh, but its basic economics.
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: This report only goes to confirm what most of us already knew, wages are falling in real-world terms whilst (until recently) benefits were staying stable with inflation.... the benefits staying stable though was reasonable, as the idea of them is to support people who have no other income through no intentional fault of their own. The current government keep baning on about "you're better off in work"... but are they doing this by forcing an increase in wages? no, the spineless George Osbourne is instead slashing benefits, and spending millions of pounds to hire in ATOS to meet a disabled person and say "you have two arms and two legs so no disability benefit for you", which in some crazy (possibly meth-fuelled) idea by Osbourne was supposed to bring lots of monetary savings. It's time to raise wages to match inflation, minumum wage should be £8 an hour to start off with. And for small buisnesses that cannot afford this, the government could part-subsidise it by providing the difference between the current minimum wage and the new minimum wage - the money coming from that not paid out in benefits because more people would be working due to better wages.[/p][/quote]Put up wages Magicman and as sure as night follows day, up will go the prices and the people at the lower end of the income scale will be no better off. Its harsh, but its basic economics. nearlyman

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