Updated: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:25:26 GMT | By pa.press.net

Millions of workers 'in poverty'

Millions of workers are facing insecurity, moving in and out of jobs, and poverty, according to a new report.


The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said over six million people classed as living in poverty were in households where people worked

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said over six million people classed as living in poverty were in households where people worked

Millions of workers are facing insecurity, moving in and out of jobs, and poverty, according to a new report.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said over six million people classed as living in poverty, were in households where people worked.

Excluding pensioners, in-work poverty now outstrips workless poverty, while 1.4 million people were now working part-time when they wanted a full-time job, an increase of 500,000 since 2009, said the report.

Spending on benefits and tax credits has never been higher, at 13% of GDP, while almost five million people have claimed Jobseeker's Allowance at least once in the last two years, said the Monitoring Poverty report, written by the New Policy Institute (NPI).

Julia Unwin, chief executive of JRF, said: "The level of in-work poverty is the most distinctive characteristic of poverty today. We need a relentless focus on fixing the labour market to ensure people have the opportunity to improve their prospects.

"More people than we can imagine will have experienced poverty since the downturn, circling in and out of insecure, short-term and poorly paid jobs. Tackling poverty requires a comprehensive strategy, but overcoming the frail jobs market, and the huge cost of outgoings on essentials that quickly eat up wages, must be the starting point."

Tom MacInnes, research director of NPI, said: "Low wages are a drag on economic recovery and cause families to struggle with the costs they face, trapping them below the breadline. Changes across five decades demonstrate poverty is not inevitable - reductions in child and pensioner poverty show that.

"But it is in-work poverty that is becoming the modern face of hardship, and at the same time support for working people is being cut. The high level of in-work poverty undermines any idea that better incentives to enter work, the centrepiece of Universal Credit, is some kind of cure-all."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "Our welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities, with Universal Credit simplifying the complex myriad of means-tested benefits.

"It will make work pay - by allowing people to keep more of their hard-earned money as they move into work - and directly lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty altogether. Furthermore, for people who have been dependent on benefits for years moving into work can seem a big risk, Universal Credit will reward people who choose to go back to work by ensuring that you are better off in work than on benefits for taking that risk."

254Comments
26/11/2012 10:11
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Why cant this government see that the only way this country can get out of its mess is to bring back industry to provide proper job's so that people can earn and spend money .

nearly all of our industry has now gone abroad, most of what we have left is owned by foreign companies.

You cant just keep making cuts until nothings left.

26/11/2012 11:00
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Hardly a surprise! Employers won't pay a proper wage, and insist on only paying "minimum wage", which is a joke wage that, because of the amount of tax we pay on everything we buy thanks to thieving government, is impossible to live on.

 

A person working 48hr a week on minimum wage is lucky if they make £200 a week after tax/ni. Once they've put aside for rent/mortgage, utilities, bastard council tax, and whatever arrears they might have on those things, what have they got left? Answer: sod all!!! And that's before they start buying things like food, or transport costs to get to the crap job in the first place.

 

Is it any wonder then that people on benefits see getting a job as a big risk. In most cases it's not that they don't won't to work, it simply they can't afford to work, and are worse off if they take a job. Anyone who's ever been on JSA for a few months or years knows damn well that the moment they get a job, the first thing they get is a huge bill for council tax (the single biggest burden forced on people), and depending on what time of the year it is when they get a job, the monthly payment on that could be as much as £400, which when you're only making about £800 per month, is one hell of a big chunk to lose, especially if they've got more important things to pay like rent or mortgage arrears, or risk living on the street if they don't.

 

It also doesn't help that most jobs these days, especially at this time of year, are only temporary or short term contract, usually through an agency (who really will pay the bare minimum). What use is that to anyone? What use is a job that only last a couple of weeks or months, when at the end of it there is no hope of a permenant position, and then they're either back down the dole office signing on, or taking some other crap minimum wage short term job.

 

People want full time, good paying jobs, not here today gone tomorrow or next week jobs. It's all very well the government saying you can live on minimum/low wage, but really, have any of them actuall tried it? Of course they haven't! If they had, they'd realise just why people in work are so skint, and why now, there are so many living in poverty.

26/11/2012 09:34
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It is not so much  the poverty level of wages, but the cavalier increases in essentials like food, fuel etc.If the workforce demanded rises in line with  avaricious corporate increases there would be an outcry.
26/11/2012 10:20
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Same old story, greedy corporate fat cats burst the bubble and those who have no say in it foot the bill while they still get set fat salaries and bonuses.Make those who caused the crash pay for it.Cameron is a liar when he says '' we are all in this together''
26/11/2012 10:45
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Greed Greed Greed , I worked for a multi national corporation making vast profits who paid the minimum wage , plus if you worked overtime you didn't get extra cash , you got toil i.e . if you worked  2 hours overtime you could have 2 hours off on a quiet time , but the bully managers never allowed it to happen . Whatever happened to a fair days wage for a fair days work , and paid overtime . These corporations want you to work for nothing while the profits roll in .
26/11/2012 10:08
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Welcome to Cameron's UK. Our MP should have the same terms of employment as poor have. Then they might understand what is happing on the good boat Britain. 

Prices keep going up and the government win ,because the higher the prices the more tax they get.

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Know exactly what they mean, there is no job security anymore, employers are more interested in hiring multiple part-time wrokers rather than full-time, so the employee's themselves never know whether they're coming or going, and the contracts that companies are now allowed to use, enable people to be sent home without any earnings for the day they turn in, despite the fact that this should be classed as their fault for hiring too many people for the job (agencies, and some seasonal employers who hire you on one day contracts).  Maybe the government should be looking into the contracts that businesses are allowed to offer to people, and maybe they should also be looking into how hiring part-time workers have affected the tax payments from these companies as well.

 

As for the universal credit, I do not think it will do anything more than increase the amount of debt in this country, as too many people will not use their council tax benefit part of this payment for what it was intended, and the same goes for their rent, but this is something the government won't care about, as it is not their responsibility, it will be down to the individuals that do these things and for them to live with the consequences.  It wouldn't be too bad if the jobcentre helped with advice, but I know the staff at the jobcentre where I live know nothing about helping people look for work, when asked about training courses like the SIA license and CSCS card, they do not know where to send you, and these two courses on their own could help lots of people back into work, despite the fact that 10 years ago, these jobs could be done without these cards, and the people doing the jobs were plenty competent enough.

 

These ridiculous licenses and cards should be done away with, and companies should have to go back to site inductions and on the job training, at least then there would be no obstacles in the way of getting basic labouring jobs and simple car park security work, and thats not taking into account the various other cards and licenses that companies are using to fleece people out of money, when they are just given all the answers anyway.

26/11/2012 11:22
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The greedy top knobs' who must live on another planet are forcing us back 100 years to subsistence living.

Before long they will want us to to tugging our for locks at them.

Revolutionary time must be just around the corner hopefully.

It is a bad state when a man from the BBC can get 22years of my income for 54 days work.

26/11/2012 10:39
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And even if you could find work, who can afford to get there ?
26/11/2012 12:25
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stop giving billions away to countries with nuclear bombs & space programs, dont give mp's the £30.000 a year pay rise they want, cut back on their expenses second homes, privilliges etc, the rich cost this country in tax avoidance, this govt should be doing far more too get unpaid tax off the likes of mcdonalds,kfc then give it directly too the poor not the banks it is the poor that spend the money too survive which in turn keeps the economy going the rich on the otherhand just hoard the cash too get richer look at the bailouts, £69billions to save 2 banks & hey presto the taxpayer will never see that returned why, this govt now thinks cuts will have to happen right up to 2018, so the poor will die & the rich get paid,this is not a democracy
26/11/2012 10:06
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Maybe that was the case a few years ago but now you are no better off in work than unemployed, youre damned if you do and damned if you don't. The only people who are benefiting/managing these days are single mums who get priority when it comes to everything -  benefits - housing etc. The Government have made cut backs in housing, making it virtually impossible for a single person to afford a property so the only thing that is going to happen is more single people women will have babies in order to get houses and more benefits so effectively the Government are going to end up paying out more in the end. Not sure who came up with the bright idea of restricting benefits and housing for single people. All that will result in is more children to single parent families. Typical Government not thinking forward as usual. I work and am left with nothing at the end of the month. My parents have to continually help fund me and I'm 40. Crazy. The Government are saying single people should be in bed sits or one bedroom properties - well just to update you Mr C, there are hardly any of these properties out there and the ones that are are in the poverty stricken/ crime ridden areas. What a mess the Government continue to make.

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Make work pay..how if there are not any jobs?
26/11/2012 10:33
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Sadly it is called the 'Fat Cat' Syndrome.  I wonder whether these highly paid people have any real concept of everyday life!  One rule for some, and another rule for others.... talk about class distinction...Dickension life seems to ring bells....." can I have some more? " MMMOOOOORRRREEE!   How dare we ask.....  uuummmm! choices, choices.... is it food, or is it the heating, or even the rent/mortgage .... so many people are going to suffer this year... watch out NHS... Hypothermia on the increase!..... Amazing really, one stone dropped in a pond, and then watch the rings grow.... this is called the knock on effect!
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The cost of living in this country is astronomical in comparison to the average salary. Rent's are far too high for a start. I can remember my Mam's weekly rent was a fifth of her weekly salary. Here in Kent the average weekly rent for a 3 bed house is £173.00 if being a fifth would mean a weekly salary of £865.00 or £50K plus per annum. The majority of people who earn that type of salary do not rent so how can people afford these rents? 
I am hoping that when the new benefit comes in, and councils will not pay the rent, the landlords bring down their prices to keep their properties occupied. 

26/11/2012 12:47
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cameron has destroyed this country, god help all the people nexdt year on benefits who have to take money out of there benefit towards the rent, with this new stupid under occupancy law, just imagine bgetting £70 a week and having to put 20 of it towards the rent, this goverment is so stupid, run by upper class **** who dont have a clue, and also all the people this goverment have kiiled with serious conditions on the sick being told by some two bit mickey miouse company called atos that they are fit for work, used to feel proud to be ennglish, but now wish i lived abroad,
26/11/2012 11:44
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Me and my hubby are living proof you are not better of working as we cant afford to pay all our bills.  Our rent and council tax alone are over £800 a month and transport to work is £220 all this on min wage.  As we both work we get penalised for it and don't get any help but yet we are sitting in the overdraft but the 5th of the month just to pay bills (this doesn't include buying food and fuel for getting to work).  The local council (Highland) don't want to help us and refuse to give us as house as I am a married working mum not  a single lay about who produces countless kids to get benefits.  Its a disgrace despite being in a more senior role I earn a poor salary (though I still get the same amount of stress heaped on me as someone who earns 3 times my salary for the same role).  Myself and my husband are being forced to move to Aberdeen for work as I can earn 3 times my salary in Aberdeen as I have experience the employers will actually pay a decent wage for.  Its disgusting that we are being forced to uproot a child to survive financially but that is the way this country is going. 

26/11/2012 11:51
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Having read these comments please,please,remember them at the next election and don,t vote them in again.Its normal for these fiddling MPs to brain wash the general public to get re-elected thats all they care about,and to all the people that are struggling, sorry,the times coming when we will be a republic lets get our troops back home then we can do the job required.
26/11/2012 11:14
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YET AGAIN, WE FEEL FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE, BUT THEY DO NOT CARE AT ALL, OVER MY LIFE I HAVE SEEN PING PONG GOVERNMENT, 1st one then the other.......SO WHAT ONE TRIES TO ACHIEVE THE NEXT LOT RUIN OVER AND OVER AGAIN...............BUT THIS IS WHAT MATTERS..................WE THE ORDINARY PEOPLE HAVE AND WILL ALWAYS SUFFER AND PAY THE DEBTS CREATED BY THOSE WHO DO NOT PAY THEIR WAY...............IT IS THE NATURE OF THE BEAST.......................CREATE JOBS SHOULD ALWAYS BE THE ANSWER, I AM DISABLED, BUT I GO TO WORK AND PAY TAX TO HELP THE COUNTRY, I AM NOT SPECIAL, BUT MY FAMILY HAVE HELPED TO CREATE WHAT THIS COUNTRY IS SINCE ....1054ad THAT I HAVE TRACED......SO NEARLY 1000 YEARS, SO IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT WE LOOKED AFTER OUR OWN AND GOT OUT OF EUROPE AS IT IS FALLING APART.
26/11/2012 11:48
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unfortunately the demise  started in the eighties , when britain was under control of a certain woman. the effects of her policies are still being heard today . sad !   but you get what you voted for and the silly people again voted for some of the same medicene, which is happening today but with far less assets to sell which was available in 1979
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