Half-a-million rise in number of people in poverty shows Britain isn’t working for everyone

16th Mar 2017

Responding to official figures showing the number of people living in poverty in the UK now stands at 14 million, Campbell Robb, chief executive at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), said:

“These troubling figures are warning signs we could be at the beginning of a sharp rise in poverty, with forecasts suggesting child poverty could rise further by 2021. If we are to make Britain work for everyone, getting to grips with high levels of poverty must be the starting point.

“Half a million more people – including more 200,000 pensioners and 100,000 children – are now living on incomes which mean they struggle to make ends meet and wake up every day facing insecurity and uncertainty.

“While employment is at record levels, the rising cost of living and freeze on benefits and tax credits mean ordinary working families are facing a tough outlook. In tight fiscal times, it is vital any additional support is directed at families who need it most.

“Lifting the freeze on working-age benefits and tax credits and allowing families to keep more of their earnings under Universal Credit will help ease the strain now.”