Wednesday, July 04, 2018

A gloomy future

A UK Government goal of “ending poverty” in the country by 2030 is a remote possibility, a Scots academic has warned. Demand for foodbanks and crisis funds will continue to rise as the UK Government shows a disregard for the realities of poverty.

Professor John McKendrick of Glasgow Caledonian University said that poverty had continued to deepen across the UK, with life for the most vulnerable in society becoming more stressful. His prediction was made in an analysis of poverty in the UK for Measuring Up, the first review of the UK’s performance against the UN’s 17 SDGs. The review, which will be presented to MPs at the House of Commons today, stated the number of people in insecure work has risen to three million and the UK is struggling to address malnutrition in all forms, with food insecurity and obesity rising.

Prof McKendrick, co-founder of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit, said: “The manner in which new provisions have been introduced, for example, the back-payment cycles for Universal Credit creating short-term vulnerabilities, has shown a disregard for the realities of life for those with least resource. “Foodbanks are becoming a necessary part of the landscape of social support. Demand on crisis funds and welfare advice is increasing. Social security has been weakened in recent years, with significant reductions in the level of resource that is at the disposal of some of the UK’s most financially challenged citizens... Unless the UK takes a different tack, everyday life for its most financially challenged will continue to become more stressed..."

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