The report found that even a very modest rental property in the UK is out of reach for Britain’s 1.3 million low income families.
The report also showed that there has been an increasing demand for private renting, as families struggle to save a deposit to buy a house but do not qualify for council housing.
It outlined that in125 of the 376 local authorities in Britain, a couple with one child and a net income of £22,000 a year would have to spend 35% of their income to rent the cheapest two-bedroom property. In 38 local authorities, they would have to spend over half of their income. According to the Financial Times, rent which is over 35% of a family’s income is considered “unaffordable”.
Many families are being pushed into financial difficulty by the lack of affordable housing combined with recent changes to the benefit system.
Child poverty facts and figures
- There were 3.7 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2013-14.
That’s 28 per cent of children, or 9 in a classroom of 30.1
- London is the area with the highest rates of child poverty in the country.2You can see child poverty rates by local area by visiting End Child Poverty.
- Child poverty reduced dramatically between 1998/9-2011/12 when 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty. Since 2010, child poverty figures have flat-lined. The number of children in absolute poverty has increased by 0.5
million since 2010.3
- As a direct result of tax and benefit decisions made since 2010, the Institute for Fiscal Studies project that the number of children in relative poverty will have risen from 3.6m to 4.3 million by 2020.4
- Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (64 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works.5
- Children in large families are at a far greater risk of living in poverty – 35% of children in poverty live in families with three or more children.6
- Families experience poverty for many reasons, but its fundamental cause is not having enough money to cope with the circumstances in which they are living. A family might move into poverty because of a rise in living costs, a drop in earnings through
job loss or benefit changes.7
- Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends. For example, 60 per cent of families in the bottom income quintile would like, but cannot
afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year.8
- Child poverty has long-lasting effects. By GCSE, there is a 28 per cent gap between children receiving
free school meals and their wealthier peers in terms of the number achieving at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades.9
- Poverty is also related to more complicated health histories over the course of a lifetime, again influencing
earnings as well as the overall quality – and indeed length - of life. Men in the most deprived areas of England have a life expectancy 9.2 years shorter than men in the least deprived areas. They also spend 14% less of their life in good health. 10 Women
share similar statistics.
- Child poverty imposes costs on broader society – estimated to be at least £29 billion a year.11 Governments forgo prospective revenues as well as commit themselves to
providing services in the future if they fail to address child poverty in the here and now.
- Childcare and housing are two of the costs that take the biggest toll on families’ budgets. When you account for childcare costs, an extra 130,000 children are pushed into poverty.12
- 1.Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2013/14, Tables 4a and 4b. Department for Work and Pensions, 2015.
- 2.Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2013/14, Table 4.23ts. Department for Work and Pensions, 2015.
- 3.Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2013/14, Tables 4a and 4b. Department for Work and Pensions, 2015.
- 4.Browne J, Hood A, and Joyce, R. Child and working age poverty in Northern Ireland over the next decade: an update. Institute for Fiscal Studies, November 2014.
- 5.Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2013/14, Table 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2015.
- 6.Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2013/14, Table 4.5db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2015.
- 7.Child poverty transitions: exploring the routes into and out of poverty 2009 to 2012, Department for Work and Pensions, 2015.
- 8.Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2013/14, Table 4.7db. Department for Work and Pensions, 2015.
- 9.GCSE and equivalent attainment by pupil characteristics: 2014. Department for Education, February 2015.
- 10.Inequality in Healthy Life Expectancy at Birth by National Deciles of Area Deprivation: England, 2009-11. Office for National Statistics, Statistical Bulletin. 14 March 2014.
- 11.D Hirsch, Estimating the costs of child poverty. Child Poverty Action Group. 2013
- 12.D Hirsch and L Valadez. How much does the official measure of child poverty under-estimate its extent by failing to take account of childcare costs? June 2015.
Children Living in poverty is on the increase
The Office of National Statistics collates information about Child Poverty. In June 2013 they issued their findings that prove Child Poverty is on the increase under this Conservative and Liberal Democrat regime! More than 300,000 children and hundreds of thousands of families were and are being plunged in to poverty under Cameron and Clegg. Yet poverty was declining under Labour and the 2020 target in reduction of Child Poverty was a realistic goal.
Thousands face real hardship
There are thousands of people who are facing real hardship as a result of the austerity measures and benefit cuts. Since April 2013, 2.6 million families have seen their benefits cut - 2 million of them through cuts in Council Tax Support, and
660,000 as a direct result of the Under Occupation Charge (bedroom tax) now mysteriously and erroneously referred to by Government Ministers as a subsidy being withdrawn.
Housing charity Crisis said in December 2013 that the number of people sleeping rough has risen 6% in the last two years, and in London it is up 60%. Meanwhile there has been a 10% rise in those seeking temporary accommodation and bed and breakfast placements are up 14%. The charity said that the bedroom tax caused severe hardship, and that it had led to a sharp rise in the number of families falling into rental arrears and losing their homes.
It is not just rent that people are falling short of: continued price inflation and cuts in incomes mean that people don't have the money for some basic necessities. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has calculated that 6.3 million people on benefits in the UK are living in poverty. The number of people using food banks has shot up, and 350,000 people were forced to fall back on them last year.
For some people cuts have been even deeper. Changes to disability benefits mean many more people are being assessed as fit to work. While some people clearly are able to get back to work, there are those who have been failed by the system. Just last week a 58-year-old man shot himself after learning that he would lose his Employment and Support Allowance, and would have to be reassessed to see whether he was eligible. He told friends he was unable to cope.
Less than £8.00 a week pensioners pocket money!
Almost two million retirees currently have less disposable income than a child, a new report has found.
The annual State Of Retirement report from LV= shows one in six retired Britons currently bring in a combined state and private pension income of £154 or less per week.
After deducting average weekly essential living costs of £146.90, these retirees are left with less cash in their hands than an 11-year-old child, who currently on average enjoy a weekly pocket money allowance of almost £8.
Nearly two in three of all retirees surveyed by LV= admitted their financial situation is so desperate they resort to money-saving techniques to make ends meet.
This includes collecting food vouchers to boost the weekly budget, entering competitions and applying for free samples of food and groceries.
Many current retirees, however, will be better off than the estimated one in four over-50s heading towards retirement with nothing saved and only the basic state pension to rely on.
According to the report, those who are saving for retirement could leave themselves with low levels of disposable income due to drastically cutting their contributions.
In the last 12 months, £2.3 billion has been ‘lost' in retirement savings, with over one in ten of over-50s not yet retired having cut back their long-term savings, by an average of £191.36 per month, or £2,296 per year.
Almost one in three over-50s admitted that financial pressures have forced them to change their retirement plans in the last 12 months, and now expect to retire later in life.
Over one in four working over-50s cannot pinpoint an age when they will retire, while one in five have accepted they will work past state retirement age through necessity.