Poverty is a cost the UK cannot afford.
It wastes people’s potential and drains public finances, hampering economic growth. If we don’t act it is likely to increase.
Here we set out the case for tackling poverty and outline policy options available to governments.
The main points include:
- Poverty is real but not inevitable. We can do something about it and must tackle its underlying causes.
- To reduce poverty, there is no single response that will succeed on its own. We need to account for the nature of jobs at the bottom end of the labour market, the cost of essential goods and services, whether people are able to reach their potential, and the choices that individuals make, as well as the way the state responds.
- Overall poverty levels have stayed fairly flat for the last 25 years, and are predicted to rise if we do nothing.
- The UK needs a comprehensive, long-term strategy to sustainably reduce poverty, rooted in cross-party consensus.