JRF responds to David Cameron’s speech

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester today, Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

David Cameron’s commitment to an ‘all-out assault’ to tackle the root causes of poverty shows he has the vision and determination to end this solvable problem.  The Prime Minister now has the chance to sever the link between low-incomes and diminished life-chances.  We urge all parties including business, employers and cities to work together to eradicate poverty. 

The Government is right to highlight the issue of in-work poverty but more needs to be done to boost productivity and improve prospects for workers.  Tax credit changes should be phased in to ease the pressure some low-income families will feel when the reductions are introduced from April.

To genuinely eradicate poverty, solving the housing crisis is critical. More starter homes will help young buyers to get on the housing ladder but there are many families who are simply not in a position to buy.  We need plans to increase the number of homes across all tenures so people on low incomes also have access to secure and stable housing.