Joseph Rowntree Foundation warns of recovery based on rising poverty

3rd December 2014

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The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has warned that the worst off families are heading in the wrong direction financially under the Chancellor’s policies. The foundation says that George Osborne has high hopes for 2020, but warns that one in four are expected to be living in poverty by then. It says there was little in this Autumn Statement to tackle the causes of poverty and it was a missed opportunity to support low income families. Without action, we risk an economic recovery built on rising poverty and insecurity says the Foundation.

SRT chief executive Julia Unwin says: “Raising the personal tax allowance is an expensive way of helping the working poor – most of the additional money will actually go to better off families, while poorer families only keep a third of the tax cut. Raising the Work Allowance would have been a much more effective way of making work pay for those in poverty. Stamp duty is a long overdue reform, but the measure stokes demand and does little to boost supply, which is badly needed to end the housing crisis and bring down the high cost of housing.”

JRF says its recent state of the nation report written by the New Policy Institute sets out how the economic recovery is affecting people and places in poverty. The report shows there has been a vast increase in insecure work – zero hours contracts, part time work and low-paid self-employment, which means that getting a job does not necessarily mean getting out of poverty:

The foundation has also attacked the extra support for childcare costs for low income families will be paid for by making savings elsewhere within the Universal Credit budget, by freezing the Work Allowance. JRF has argued the help should not be funded at the expense of other poorer families, and the balance of funding between poorer and better off families looked at again.

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