DWP Say An Extra Million People Below Poverty Line
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have released a report showing that real income has dropped by 3% each year for the last two years.
This has pushed one million more people below the absolute poverty line.
The report released by the DWP shows that the average income is at the lowest level it has been at since the early 2000's.
The main causes of this are pay freezes and austerity measures after a second year of sharp falls in inflations-adjusted pay, and have resulted in sharp falls in living standards.
The decrease in the last two years has over-ridden any small gains made in the previous 8 years, as real incomes have dropped by 3% per annum each year.
Those in their 20s have been the worst-affected age group, reflecting the fact that unemployment rates for younger workers have been relatively high. They have not been protected in the way that other groups have been, such as a rise in spending for older people's pensions.
Their average income dropped by almost 12% between 2007-8 and 2011-12, after adjusting for inflation.
Poverty among children rose by 300,000, with two-thirds of these living in households with one or more earners, showing the cause cannot just be put down to unemployment.
Anita Tiessen, deputy executive director of Unicef UK, said:
The number of children living in poverty in the UK is likely to be even higher than the government's statistics suggest.
In the time period covered by today's figures, major austerity measures – like council tax benefit cuts and the introduction of the bedroom tax – had not yet come into force, so this data does not reflect their probable harmful impact on children's wellbeing.
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