Call for more to be done to tackle in-work poverty

York Press: Julia Unwin, chief  executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, speaking at the anti-poverty event at the House of Commons Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, speaking at the anti-poverty event at the House of Commons

POLITICAL leaders are failing to grasp the changing nature of poverty in Britain, it has been warned.

Former MP Alan Milburn, now chairman of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, said many of the worst-off people at present were in work, but still poor, and said more had to be done to tackle in-work poverty.

He was speaking at a reception at the House of Commons, where Prospect and the York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation launched a series of essays called Poverty In The UK: Can It Be Eradicated?

Mr Milburn said: “Policymakers and politicians have failed to get to grips with the nature of poverty.

“It has changed. Poverty is not a static class where you are always a member. It changes. Four in ten people in our country will experience a spell in poverty over any nine-year period.

“It is not that people are not working, but that they are not earning enough.”

He said five million people in Britain, including a disproportionate number of women, were earning less than the living wage, and called for the idea to be more widely adopted.

He said poverty, particularly among children, was a “national scar”.

Julia Unwin, chief executive of the foundation, told guests at the event that poverty had become difficult to talk about, as polls showed dwindling support for welfare, but said encouraging better debate was important.

She said: “We can fight poverty and we can win. If we do not, the cost to our society will be massive.”

Mrs Unwin recently wrote a book, Why Fight Poverty?, in which she cited the cost to the country of poverty, including through lost earnings and welfare payments.

Bronwen Maddox, editor of Prospect, praised the work of the JRF in providing sound evidence-based analysis.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:41am Mon 9 Dec 13

again says...

It's a pattern already well established in the USA where income inequality has reached astonishing levels due to the departure of work abroad and the ability of those at the top to take what they want as rewards.

We should heed the warning and ignore our biased media which diverts attention to issues such as immigration, benefit fraud and the EU in an Orwellian attempt to cover up the real problem of inequality.
It's a pattern already well established in the USA where income inequality has reached astonishing levels due to the departure of work abroad and the ability of those at the top to take what they want as rewards. We should heed the warning and ignore our biased media which diverts attention to issues such as immigration, benefit fraud and the EU in an Orwellian attempt to cover up the real problem of inequality. again

10:17am Mon 9 Dec 13

Garrowby Turnoff says...

The inequality of worker's wages in 3rd World countries compared with European worker's wages means we'll never have high wages in manufacturing industries. The Unions had a chance to improve the worker's lot but blew it in the last century.
The inequality of worker's wages in 3rd World countries compared with European worker's wages means we'll never have high wages in manufacturing industries. The Unions had a chance to improve the worker's lot but blew it in the last century. Garrowby Turnoff

11:02am Mon 9 Dec 13

Tom6187 says...

This is what the Tories want though, they will be delighted. Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop voting Tory if you don't like it.
This is what the Tories want though, they will be delighted. Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop voting Tory if you don't like it. Tom6187

12:14pm Mon 9 Dec 13

YorkPatrol says...

Tom6187 wrote:
This is what the Tories want though, they will be delighted. Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop voting Tory if you don't like it.
One word... Deluded (That's you, not the Tories)

Please do not make reference to political parties unless sensible, quantifiable, factual and not just because you vote Labour
[quote][p][bold]Tom6187[/bold] wrote: This is what the Tories want though, they will be delighted. Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop voting Tory if you don't like it.[/p][/quote]One word... Deluded (That's you, not the Tories) Please do not make reference to political parties unless sensible, quantifiable, factual and not just because you vote Labour YorkPatrol

12:20pm Mon 9 Dec 13

again says...

Garrowby Turnoff wrote:
The inequality of worker's wages in 3rd World countries compared with European worker's wages means we'll never have high wages in manufacturing industries. The Unions had a chance to improve the worker's lot but blew it in the last century.
One of the companies in the USA with the poorest employees of all is Walmarts (ASDA to you and I). They aggressively pursue a low wage policy and have successfully ousted unions from the organisation as well as any critics of its practices.

In the USA the number of those employed by Walmart has increased dramatically to 1.25m whilst their pay has been kept well below average. Whilst it is true that Walmart is successful in keeping prices down, one means is by sourcing from the cheapest suppliers, unsurprisingly a high proportion of Chinese suppliers.

At the same time, the Walmart family has amassed a fortune making themselves the richest people on planet earth! Whilst it might be argued they have 'earned' it by enlarging their organisation and that it is comparable with foreign CEO pay, the fact remains that their business model (not uncommon in the USA today) is one that impoverishes their compatriots.

In the UK we are watching the continuation of a process that deprives ordinary workers of meaningful representation and allows companies to move closer to the Walmart model. Union bashing is part of that process aided by the ineptitude of a very few the hostility of a right-wing press and those whom it deludes.
[quote][p][bold]Garrowby Turnoff[/bold] wrote: The inequality of worker's wages in 3rd World countries compared with European worker's wages means we'll never have high wages in manufacturing industries. The Unions had a chance to improve the worker's lot but blew it in the last century.[/p][/quote]One of the companies in the USA with the poorest employees of all is Walmarts (ASDA to you and I). They aggressively pursue a low wage policy and have successfully ousted unions from the organisation as well as any critics of its practices. In the USA the number of those employed by Walmart has increased dramatically to 1.25m whilst their pay has been kept well below average. Whilst it is true that Walmart is successful in keeping prices down, one means is by sourcing from the cheapest suppliers, unsurprisingly a high proportion of Chinese suppliers. At the same time, the Walmart family has amassed a fortune making themselves the richest people on planet earth! Whilst it might be argued they have 'earned' it by enlarging their organisation and that it is comparable with foreign CEO pay, the fact remains that their business model (not uncommon in the USA today) is one that impoverishes their compatriots. In the UK we are watching the continuation of a process that deprives ordinary workers of meaningful representation and allows companies to move closer to the Walmart model. Union bashing is part of that process aided by the ineptitude of a very few the hostility of a right-wing press and those whom it deludes. again

3:47pm Mon 9 Dec 13

yorkandproud says...

Anti poverty event at the House of Commons. Now there's a contradiction in terms. Fat, greedy noses in the trough wold be a better subject there.
Anti poverty event at the House of Commons. Now there's a contradiction in terms. Fat, greedy noses in the trough wold be a better subject there. yorkandproud

5:08pm Mon 9 Dec 13

CHISSY1 says...

The only thing so called political leaders can grasp,is salary increases.
The only thing so called political leaders can grasp,is salary increases. CHISSY1

6:50pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Bill Kinghorn says...

Questions of morality aside, wealth needs a natural predator, in the form of government, to prevent the system from destroying itself. Negative feedback is needed when the open-loop system is unstable.
Questions of morality aside, wealth needs a natural predator, in the form of government, to prevent the system from destroying itself. Negative feedback is needed when the open-loop system is unstable. Bill Kinghorn

3:59am Tue 10 Dec 13

Magicman! says...

POLITICAL leaders are failing to grasp the changing nature of poverty in Britain, it has been warned.

... that's because the current government's views of people in poverty is that they are poor "because they don't work hard enough".

then we have had several years of anti-benefits propoganda in the media and newspapers, labelling anybody on benefits of any sort as "scroungers" or "spongers" and a high focus on people either fiddling their benefits or not spending it wisely to make people think they're poor because they are stupid.... so that when the Tories started making cuts to benefits "to make work pay" then all the readership of the Daily Wail and The Scum would clap their hands like Seals at a show. But with an increasing number of elderly people forced to continue working, there is no suitable work for the younger generations (and I'm not just talking about the 18-24 group that seems to be the only group to get any focus for boosting into employment) and so people that were skilled just end up going BEEP BEEP BEEP in a supermarket, or "do you want fries with that"....
[quote]POLITICAL leaders are failing to grasp the changing nature of poverty in Britain, it has been warned. [/quote] ... that's because the current government's views of people in poverty is that they are poor "because they don't work hard enough". then we have had several years of anti-benefits propoganda in the media and newspapers, labelling anybody on benefits of any sort as "scroungers" or "spongers" and a high focus on people either fiddling their benefits or not spending it wisely to make people think they're poor because they are stupid.... so that when the Tories started making cuts to benefits "to make work pay" then all the readership of the Daily Wail and The Scum would clap their hands like Seals at a show. But with an increasing number of elderly people forced to continue working, there is no suitable work for the younger generations (and I'm not just talking about the 18-24 group that seems to be the only group to get any focus for boosting into employment) and so people that were skilled just end up going BEEP BEEP BEEP in a supermarket, or "do you want fries with that".... Magicman!

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree