Responding to today's DWP figures on Households Below Average Income, Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the anti-poverty Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:
Any reduction in the number of people in poverty has to be welcomed. However, whichever measure you use, the fact remains millions of people are still trapped by poverty.
JRF evidence shows a quarter of all children will be in poverty in just eight years' time, both in absolute and relative terms – a worrying prospect no matter how you look at the statistics.
We know that changes to the tax and benefits system, along with a hollowing out of the labour market, will mean more people living in poverty by 2020, despite the beneficial impact of Universal Credit.
This is not simply about pounds and pence. Families need access to low-cost, flexible childcare, affordable housing and an education system that focuses on the needs of children in poverty, as part of a wider mix of interventions and measures.
But breaking the crippling low pay, no pay cycle that keeps so many working families in poverty would be a welcome start.
We cannot afford to stand still on this issue and need to urgently look at what will be effective in reducing poverty in tough economic circumstances. That is why JRF will be developing our own evidenced strategy to end poverty across the UK.