Sunday, December 08, 2013

Poverty Pay v MPs Pay

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that almost 13 million Britons are now living in poverty, having suffered a "sustained" and "unprecedented" fall in their living standards.
The social policy research charity found people remaining in poverty despite moving in and out of work, with some facing "very severe hardship". At the same time the study finds that the support on offer to people who fall on hard times is "increasingly threadbare".

Julia Unwin, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's chief executive, added: "This research shows millions of people are moving in and out of work but rarely out of poverty. Hard work is not working. We have a labour market that lacks pay and protection, with jobs offering precious little security and paltry wages that are insufficient to make ends meet."

Job insecurity is common for millions of people, with one in six of the workforce claiming Jobseekers' Allowance at some point in the last two years. the largest group in poverty are working age adults without dependent children - 4.7 million people are in this situation, the highest on record.

One of the author's of the report, Dr Peter Kenway, told Sky News: "People are hard hit everywhere. It remains the case that young adults are on low incomes, but more than half of people who are low paid are above the age of 30. "This is not a phenomenon of people who are at the start of their working lives. We've got people who are really hard-pressed and unable to progress."

Meantime, MPs have awarded themselves a 11% pay rise, taking their salary to  £74,000 from 2015.  Two-thirds of MPs believe they are underpaid. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) refused to scale back the increase even though they conceded there is no "compelling evidence" that MPs' current salary level is deterring candidates, making people leave Parliament, affecting the diversity of the House, or lowering the standard of ministers.

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