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JRF launch five point plan to solve UK poverty

  • 06/09/2016
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Charity announces new ‘long-term deal’ to tackle poverty for first generation of "Brexit children"

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The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has today launched a five-point plan to solve poverty by 2030. It is the most comprehensive strategy of its kind to set out how to solve poverty across all groups in the UK.

The strategy sets out a target where the generation of children starting school this year enter adulthood in 2030 in a UK where:

  • No one is ever destitute
  • Less than one in ten of the population are in poverty at any one time, and
  • Nobody is in poverty for more than two years.

Julia Unwin's comments

Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of JRF, said: “It’s shameful that in the 21st century, 13 million people in our wealthy country are living in poverty. A new ‘long term deal’ to solve poverty is urgently needed so the first generation of ‘Brexit children’ starting school this week grow up in a country where no matter where they live, everyone has a chance of a decent and secure life. Previous approaches have been too piecemeal, failing to deal with issues such as the high cost of living.

“Poverty divides communities and generations; it harms people’s potential and strains families; it drains the public purse and holds back our economy. If we don’t take action now, poverty is set to increase for children and working-age adults.”

Five key areas of action

To solve poverty, JRF’s plan focuses on five key areas of action:

1.    Boost incomes and reduce costs:

  • End the poverty premium – where people in poverty pay more for everyday goods and services
  • Invest an extra £1 billion per year to build 80,000 genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy in England each year.

2.    Deliver an effective benefit system:

  • Reboot Universal Credit to make work pay and provide a strong safety net
  • Reform job centres to support people into secure and better-paid work – not just any job.

3.    Improve education standards and raise skills:

  • Improve educational attainment among children growing up in poverty
  • Double investment in basic skills training so 5 million more adults have basic literacy, numeracy and digital skills by 2030.

4.    Strengthen families and communities:

  • Radically overhaul the childcare system to give children the best start in life and to make work pay for parents
  • Support strong families and relationships by establishing a family hub in every area.

5.    Promote long-term economic growth benefiting everyone:

  • Employers support and train their lowest paid staff to get on at work into better paid and secure jobs 
  • Give mayors and town halls the incentives, powers and budget to help create more and better jobs and connect people in poverty to economic opportunities.

Turn2us Comment

Turn2us Chief Executive Simon Hopkins said: "The publication of JRF’s compelling report provides a timely reminder that poverty is a stressful reality for millions in the UK. But it also acts as a collective call to action to confront and defeat this stubborn foe.

"We wholeheartedly agree that tackling poverty needs a coordinated and determined approach involving multiple bodies across all sectors. There is much inspiring work already being done – our collective response must be to combine better to make that work as comprehensive and effective as possible.

"Turn2us is already making common cause with a number of like-minded organisations and groups to make that a reality and I genuinely hope that one day we can look back on this report as a positive watershed moment in the battle with poverty. The prize on offer is too great for it not to be.”

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Source and further information: Joseph Rowntree Foundation report: We can solve poverty in the UK

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