Poverty Times

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Poverty Times “Modern politicians do not grasp the scale of poverty in Britain because most have not known personal hardship. People should do more to keep politician’s feet to the fire.” (Campaigner and Second World War veteran, Harry Leslie Smith.) Poverty Times is a monthly digest of the most recent news stories, research and articles on poverty in the UK. It’s a monthly e bulletin. From “Why A UK Food Bank Is Now Providing Tampons For Women Who Can't Afford Them” (April 2016), and “Salford children are suffering malnutrition and Victorian diseases as poverty tightens its grip on the city” to *Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Wales 2015 (Joseph Rowntrees Foundation, Sept 2015). People in poverty are currently subjected to a range of complex pressures that is unprecedented in modern times. Disadvantaged neighbourhood communities for many years have had very high levels of poverty and deprivation and faced high crime, anti social behaviour, unemployment, drug abuse, ill health, lack of services and facilities, isolation and poor educational attainment. This is now made much worse by a unique range of pressures linked with government austerity policies that is deepening many forms of poverty and deprivation. This includes: punitive welfare systems and procedures; benefit sanctions; deep national Government budget spending cuts hitting Local Authorities very hard drastically reducing non statutory service provision; escalating fuel bills to rent comparable levels; changes in employment patterns with most jobs restricted to short term temporary, part time, low paid, and zero hour work contracts. Food banks are needed; people are denied access to bank accounts and financial services; digital exclusion means many people are unable to access the internet; the poverty premium means people in poverty pay more for goods and services. With Poverty Times we try to collect all the relevant recent news, views and new research in one easy accessible place. Poverty Times gets e mailed out to around 300 people. We hope this makes a small contribution to the work of people tackling poverty and deprivation in communities, and helps to nail the myth that “there is no poverty in contemporary Britain”. To subscribe or view previous editions of Poverty Times: Click here to email us

Benefits Britain
1)A TUC survey showed that people think around 41% of benefits go to the unemployed. The real figure is 2.6%.
2)42% of the Welfare Bill goes to pensioners, 21% goes to people in low paid work.
3)Nearly 80% of Job Seekers Allowance claimants stop claiming within 6 months.
4)Of the 7.8 million families receiving child benefit, 1.2 million have more than 2 children.
5)A TUC survey found that people think around 27% of welfare is lost in fraud, the real figure is only 0.7%.
6)Around £17 billion of benefits that people are entitled to goes unclaimed every year.
7)Immigrants are 60% less likely to claim benefits than a British born person.
8)64% of families receive benefits – that’s 20.3 million families.
9)The UK spends 12% less on benefits per head than France does, and 19% less compared to Germany.
10)93% of new Housing Benefit claimants come from working people, as UK housing costs are the 3rd highest in Europe.

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