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20pc Of Britons 'living In Poverty'

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20pc in poverty

20pc of Britons 'living in poverty'

From correspondents in London

15sep05

ABOUT 20 per cent of Britons live below the poverty line, with working-age adults singled out as being particularly vulnerable, research by a British charity revealed today.

"A staggering 20 per cent, or 12.5 million people, in the UK, including 8.8 million adults, live below the poverty line amidst the prosperity of the world's fourth largest economy," said Jonathan Welfare, chief executive of Elizabeth Finn Care.

The charity, which helps people escape the poverty trap, found that an estimated 3.9 million single people of working age were living in poverty.

More than 300,000 such people, without dependant children, had fallen below the poverty line since 1996-1997, it said.

"The Government's focus on child and pensioner poverty has made significant progress. We now need to give the same level of attention to the group that has not benefited, namely working age adults without dependant children," said Mr Welfare.

"In fact, with the growing number of single households in the UK, the number of individuals at risk of falling into the poverty trap is on the increase. They remain unseen because many come from backgrounds where we don't often expect poverty to exist and they don't come forward to ask for help."

The group said people living in poverty were more likely to be female, divorced, widowed or separated.

It is calling on the Government, public sector and voluntary organisations to work together to identify those who are in need and point them in the right direction to find help.

The research came as Prime Minister Tony Blair mingled with heads of state and government at a United Nations summit in New York which has among its goals a bid to eradicate poverty in Africa, one of the world's poorest regions.

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"A staggering 20 per cent, or 12.5 million people, in the UK, including 8.8 million adults, live below the poverty line amidst the prosperity of the world's fourth largest economy," said Jonathan Welfare :lol:

is this a joke?

I don't believe the figure is anywhere near that high.

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this fuels my argument earlier this week about talking people out of min wage jobs and into full time benefits.

they are slightly more impoverished working on min wage that they are signing on as unemployed.

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Depends what you mean as poverty. Percentage of average wage? Number of cars in drive (on HP, of course)? Number of BTL flats? Number of trips per year to the Costas? Number of McDs per week?

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Didn't someone (Bush?) say this week, attacking those who dared criticise the level of poverty in New Orleans, that even the poorest in the US compare favourably to the average French family, because they have 'more cars', among other things...

Er... hello.... is is just me? Foot and mouth disease seems to be alive and well...

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The 20% poverty figure is based on post 60s definitions of poverty.

Earlier definitions of poverty, from Rowntree to Beveridge, took a basket of goods approach and usually consisted of agreed levels of food, clothing & housing to live a subsistence existence. Hence you either earned enough to buy the basket of goods or you didn't, you were poor or weren't poor.

With the rise of predominantly left-wing social science, the basket of goods approach was replaced by a notion of inequality . Hence modern notions of poverty define it as earning less than 60% of the national average. It is this definition which allows them to reach the 20% poverty figure.

You don't need to be a genius to work out that starving Africans might find this a little bizarre.

So we have moved from a subsistence/basket definition to a relativist/income definition. And it won't stop there.

The latest breed of Guardian-reading, (Dog) Tax Abusing, New Labour Gurus have further extended the notion of poverty from the relativist income definition to ideas of social exclusion and "lack of opportunity".

So if Johnny Broken Bottlehead with his 5 Asbos doesn't get his place at Balliol, despite having a basket full of goodies and earning above average income, he's poor . Geddit ?

(Of course the real problem with this movement of definitions is that it is slowly becoming a psychological definition of poverty. Eventually, we will simply be asking people if they feel poor (as the Guardian interviewer waves a picture of King Fahad and his four hundred harem in your face). But why bother with the word poor ? Let's just use the word "unhappy" and ask "Are you happy ?" When everybody replies "no", we can then claim everyone is poor and have a nice little revolution.

Edited by Euphorion

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Further proof that the definers of poverty just can't stop hunting it out. Now, it's not poor families or single parents or pensioners but "singletons" - single people without children:

The New Poor

Edited by Euphorion

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New item Notes

Frozen chicken nuggets.

To represent the processed poultry market

Pre-packed vegetables

To represent the pre-packed vegetable market

Fizzy bottled drink (500ml)

Previously collecting fizzy drinks in cans and large bottles only

Tobacco

Cigarettes purchased from vending machines

Infants’ trousers (eg jeans)

Replaces infants’ dungarees due to some difficulties experienced in collecting prices

Housing Carpenters’ fees

To maintain coverage of CPI class 4.3.2 Services for regular

maintenance and repair

Wooden patio set

Replaces plastic patio set

Leather settee

To represent the leather furniture market. Replaces upholstered

settee

Frying pan

To improve coverage of cookware

Gardeners’ fees

Private chiropractors’ fees

Mobile phone handsets

To represent the market for mobile phone purchase; previously

represented by mobile phone call charges pending development of

hedonic models for quality adjustment of mobile handset prices

Small pet, eg hamster

To represent the market for live pets, improving coverage of spending on pets and accessories

Wrapping paper To improve coverage of the market for printed matter

Laptop computers To represent the market for laptop computers;

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/article.asp?ID=%201059

Some of this years additions to the basket.

So are they saying that people live in poverty if they can't afford a new laptop? Since when was a laptop a neccessity? Or a leather settee,or cigarettes? :rolleyes:

Edited by libitina

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Hence modern notions of poverty define it as earning less than 60% of the national average.

And don't forget that is median wage, ie about 8k lower than the one use for most definitions of wealth ;)

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Let's say you earn 13k in the South Of England. It's the wage of many office workers, retail workers with longer service and promotion, even many new graduates.

You're single and take home just under £880 after Gordon's share.

Are you in poverty?

Well, in most southern towns the cheapest accomodation is a room or HMO bedsit for around 350 quid, perhaps a little more. Sharing might include the need to pay bills, Rachman bedsits are usually all-inclusive.

Let's be optimistic and say you can house yourself all-in for 350 quid.

That's £520 left.

Next you need clothing. Now if we were in the third world or Bolivia or somewhere just covering our bodies with whatever clothes we could make or scrounge would suffice. Unfortunately in the UK even the most low-paid jobs need fresh, tidy, even smart employees. That means shirts, trousers, blouses, suits that cannot be allowed to become too tramp-like. Often the need for work clothes comes all of a sudden - with a new job - but let's just make it easy and say cheaper clothes can everage around £50.

We'll assume you're getting all your other clothes from Sally Army clothes bins.

You now have £480.

Well, now you have to wash your clothes. If your accomodation has facilities you can just buy the powder (and electricity is sharing bills). Chances are HMOers will use the laundrette. £3 a pop is you're drying as well, and powder on top. You'll need to do the washing at least 3 or 4 times a week. Let's say £15 a month. Oh, and you need to wash yourself too. Say you only use soap, shampoo and deoderant, we can probably get away with a fiver a month.

You now have £460.

Now can you walk to work? No, well you need transport. Let's say your bus rides only cost a couple of quid a day it's going to be £40 a month.

You now have £420.

Now we need to eat. Well, all the local grocers have closed and you live in a food wasteland. Back on the bus to the nearest supermarket. Dilemma - you live in overcrowded rented accomodation? Should you get cheaper raw indregients or 10 minute ready meals and tins? In your HMO the kitchen might be the hangout of oddballs and be in a flithy state, so maybe you can't realistically use it. Let's say you get a bit of both, raw ingredietns and cheap processed crap - £120, being optimistic. Oh, and a fiver for bus fares there and back.

That's £295.

Hmm, do you need a phone? There's few local bank branches anymore, and you porbably need to give work a number. Do you rent a line, share bills, get an expensive pre-pay mobile? Let's say, all in, phone communications costs around £20. Perhaps, again, optimistic.

That's £280.

So there you go - you have a complete third-world sad life of wage slavery, but you've got all that dosh left! Lucky you!

But hang on, you haven't... been out with friends, seen a film, got a TV or a licence, bought any furnishings, got a means to play music, had a decent pint, paid for any adult aducation classes to better yourself, paid any expensive train fares to visit family or friends, had any trips out anywhere. Nothing to reward yourself for your soul-destroying 40 hours plus, no reward for not being a scrounger or a system fiddler.

You're going to need to have the devotion to poverty of a monk!

And hang on again: You're on £13k! What if you got a stonking promotion from £10.5k. You might have debts built up simply through being dirt poor! Heck, that 13k could be your first fantastic 'Must be a graduate' job so you'll be paying back megaloans.

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That's £280.

So there you go - you have a complete third-world sad life of wage slavery, but you've got all that dosh left! Lucky you!

Don't forget that out of that you should also be putting aside something into a pension or providing for your old age in some other way, paying student loans, saving to give yourself some rainy day savings in case you lose your job or fall ill. And I would say for 99.9% per cent of people their transport costs are more than £40 per month (anyone who uses their car to get to work, for a start). If you have anything left after that little lot I would be amazed. So your reward for working 40+ hours a month in a full-time job is precisly zip, nada, rien, niente, or even worse you might actually be making a loss each month (ie getting further and further into debt). Pretty picture ain't it.

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Makes those on Welfare the "smart" ones doesn't it? Despite what many feel about welfare recipients if you are busting your hump to get ahead on a basic wage sooner or later you are going to relise that you may as well be on social security. No more worries about work clothes or transport to work costs. In fact, if you play your cards right you might be better off <_<

The answer is to make work more attractive not to attack welfare.

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Guest horace

OH DEAR!!

I worked for the, then, DHSS for more years than I care to remember.

If Joe Public could see at first hand how their taxes are poured down the drain on benefits there would be a public hue and cry.

The poverty line(?) what an absolute f**king joke. We could give many, many families many thousands of £ per week and they would still in poverty!!

What these, so called, do gooders / complainers fail to realise that no amount of money given to many claimants will improve their intelligence or financial savvy.

It is rather like giving an alcolholic the keys to a brewery and hope he sobers up.

horace

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Don't forget that out of that you should also be putting aside something into a pension or providing for your old age in some other way, paying student loans, saving to give yourself some rainy day savings in case you lose your job or fall ill. And I would say for 99.9% per cent of people their transport costs are more than £40 per month (anyone who uses their car to get to work, for a start). If you have anything left after that little lot I would be amazed. So your reward for working 40+ hours a month in a full-time job is precisly zip, nada, rien, niente, or even worse you might actually be making a loss each month (ie getting further and further into debt). Pretty picture ain't it.

We are permitted to survive. I suspect that has always been the way.

The real problem is the lack of quality of life. Sharing a HMO for example.

There was a show on ITV this evening called "49up", in which the programme maker has filmed individuals every seven years over the course of their lives - I'm sure you know it.

The first subject was a man born in the east end of London, left school at 15, became a jockey, quit that, became a cabbie, seems to have had a reasonably good life - wife, kids, house with garden etc.

Much of what he said was reactionary rubbish, but he illustrates a point well. He had been able to have a life in this country, to do normal things like reproduce and house his family (in a town in Essex)

Imagine a cabbie today attempting this, even on their reputed £40k (although I imagine the hours would be long for this). He would be able to buy a one bed flat in Essex today. The normal course of life is ruled out for people today in his situation. What on earth will become of them?

Oh, I forgot! Prices are on the way down now, so all will be fine! :P

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Luxury! When I was a lad etc etc.

It is possible to live OK on less. My current monthly cost of living is around £4-450. But then I cycle everywhere, can dress like a scruff in my workplace, handwash my clothes, grow some of my own veg, buy second hand stuff and live in a dirt cheap place in London.

Not everyone has that luxury I suppose.

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OH DEAR!!

I worked for the, then, DHSS for more years than I care to remember.

If Joe Public could see at first hand how their taxes are poured down the drain on benefits there would be a public hue and cry.

The poverty line(?) what an absolute f**king joke. We could give many, many families many thousands of £ per week and they would still in poverty!!

What these, so called, do gooders / complainers fail to realise that no amount of money given to many claimants  will improve their intelligence or financial savvy.

It is rather like giving an alcolholic the keys to a brewery and hope he sobers up.

horace

You've lost me. The thread has moved on to the working poor and their third world life. They are paying tax and, if single in particular, getting nothing back. Someone on the 13k I used in my illustration wouldn't even get free prescriptions.

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Guest wrongmove
You've lost me. The thread has moved on to the working poor and their third world life. They are paying tax and, if single in particular, getting nothing back. Someone on the 13k I used in my illustration wouldn't even get free prescriptions.

I think I would rather be on £13k in the uk that $1 a day in India/Africa etc. (The poorest 20% globally actually live on that)

Free education for the kids, health service, street lamps, police force, fire service, rubbish collection, decent sewerage system, running water in the house, huge selection of things to eat, a possibility of improving you situation, etc have to be worth something!?

If poverty is defined as being in bottom 20%, then 20% will always be in poverty.

I'm not saying that life is perfect in UK, but compared uk poor to global poor is not really meaningful, IMHO.

Edited by wrongmove

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  • 302 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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