Thursday, May 21, 2015

Poor UK

An OECD’s study 'In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All' revealed the UK is one of the most unequal developed nations in the world, according to a new report warning that such disparity stunts economic growth and damages the fabric of society. Income inequality rose both in times of prosperity, as well as when the economy is performing badly. Growth has disproportionately benefited high income groups, and left lower income households behind.

“Lower income people have been prevented from realising their human capital potential,” the study states. 

More than 2 million children live in families that are cutting back their spending on food, clothing or heating as a result of government decisions to impose cuts in real terms on child-related benefits, anotherpiece of new research finds. Rates of both child benefit and child tax credits have been pegged at less than the cost of living for the past three years, causing one in five families to struggle to provide living essentials, according to the End Child Poverty coalition. 

The government has indicated it will seek to freeze the value of working age benefits for two years from April 2016 as part of plans to reduce social security spending by £12bn a year by 2017-18. The freeze hopes to save £1bn. More than 4m households have been affected by below-inflation rises to child benefit and child tax credit, said End Child Poverty. Nearly two-thirds of those hit are working families on low incomes. A typical low-paid working family with two children will lose £513 in 2015.

A separate survey found over a third reported that they had cut back on family outings and trips, 26% spent less on clothes, a fifth cut down on food and a fifth on heating. Those on lower incomes were hardest hit. About 40% of families earning below £15,000 a year said they had cut back on food, and 45% on heating.

David Holmes, the chair of End Child Poverty said: “It is deeply worrying that parents are having to cut back on food, heating and other essentials that their children need in order to develop and thrive.

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