Jim McGovern : Poverty increases amongst working people

24 November 2014

A report published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and written by the New Policy Institute has found that young adults and those in work are now more likely to be in poverty.

Focusing on money, housing, work, benefits and other services, the report shows that poverty is increasing across the country with 1 in 5 working age adults and a substantial rise in the proportion of adults under 25 living in poverty.

The report highlights a number of causes for this rise, specifically that 3 in 5 people who have moved from unemployment into work in the last year are paid less than the living wage, and that household incomes have been falling which has prevented people from covering their household outgoings.

Changes to the welfare system have further exacerbated the problem of poverty though the increasingly prevalent use of sanctions, as well as poor job outcomes through the Work Programme which has had little success and is often the cause for further sanctions.

Legal support to challenge sanctions has also been drastically reduced, resulting in fewer people being able to overturn decisions and forcing them to live below the poverty line until their welfare payments are reinstated.

Speaking on the report’s findings, Jim McGovern, MP for Dundee West said:

“The findings of this report are absolutely shocking for although there is increased confidence for businesses, allowing them to invest and expand, work is no longer a guaranteed end to poverty.

“Earnings and incomes are lower for working families whilst bills are rising higher, and the Government’s failure to act through tackling zero-hours contracts, strengthening the minimum wage and freezing energy bills shows the contempt that they have for hard working people and the unemployed.

“On top of all this there is the recent revelation that no firms over the past year have been prosecuted for breaking minimum wage legislation and not paying their staff the fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work that they are entitled to.

“This report paints a damning picture of a Britain under a Tory Government and shows that what we need is not the recovery that David Cameron has been saying we’re experiencing, but a recovery that everyone enjoys the benefits of through a rebalanced economy that works for all.

“Consequently, Labour would strengthen minimum wage legislation and enforcement, incentivise paying the living wage, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, freeze energy bills and provide 25 hours of free childcare a week to reverse this slide into poverty, rebalance the economy and give people the fair and secure future that they deserve.”

click on the image above to download the report

Links :

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

New Policy Institute

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