National poverty charity responds to HBAI statistics



National poverty charity Turn2us responds to the latest Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics and calls on the government to intervene with a new Beveridge moment and tackle the rise in poverty.

The data, which was released today by the DWP, shows that poverty rose once again in 2019/20, with 18% of the population in relative low income before housing costs.  While these figures do not show the effect of the coronavirus on poverty levels, they do highlight a continued rise in poverty since 2014.

Sara Willcocks, Head of External Affairs at Turn2us, said: “Poverty levels were unacceptably high before our lives were affected by the coronavirus pandemic. They will be even higher now.  Without meaningful intervention, this situation and the impact it has on people’s live is only going to get worse in the future.

“Although the rise in relative low income is contrasted by a fall in absolute low income, any indication of any rise in poverty is unacceptable.  There needs to be a radical rethink of our social security system that enables people to thrive; not just survive. People deserve more than the bare minimum. But, change must be holistic. Improving our benefit safety net needs to go hand-in-hand with building affordable housing, creating well paid jobs, investing in communities, and more.