Nearly 5m children are living in poverty according to shocking new cross-party analysis that shows povertyOver 15m adults and children in poverty says shocking new report rates are even higher than previously thought.
More than 9.5m adults and an additional 4.5m children are below the bread line, over half of whom have been living in poverty for years, research by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) found.
The independent commission, which brought together poverty experts from across the political spectrum, used a new method of analysis to provide the most accurate measure of UK poverty to date.
The SMC said poverty particularly affects households with a disabled family member, lone parent families, those without employment and people reliant on insecure work.
The new measure was devised in order to replace child poverty targets – formally the official measure – which were scrapped by the Tories in 2015.
Previous analysis calculated lower poverty rates – such as 4.1m children living in poverty compared to the SMC’s figure of 4.5m – but the commission noted that the numbers were of less importance than recognising the root causes of poverty and taking action to tackle them.
SMC chair Philippa Stroud said, “We want to put poverty at the heart of government policymaking and ensure that the decisions that are made are genuinely made with the long term interests of those in poverty in mind.”
Spotlight on Tory cuts
The analysis is likely to draw more attention to the impact of Tory cuts to public services and welfare and the rise of precarious low paid work that has run parallel to austerity.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said the report, compiled with input from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as well as former Tory advisers and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, was a “damning indictment of the Tories’ obsession with austerity”.
He said, “(The report) underlines a need to tackle poverty through promoting string unions and collective bargaining at work while investing in decent jobs, services and our wider communities.
“We need a government that stops destroying our social safety net, legislates against a race to the bottom labour market and enforces a minimum wage that people can actually live on.”