Turn2us response to Joseph Rowntree Foundation destitution study


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“This unacceptable rise needs to be reversed” – cross-party leadership needed.


New research out today from The Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that the number of people experiencing destitution has increased by 61% from 2019 to 2022, with an even larger increase in the number of children experiencing destitution. Further, the social security system is not protecting people with 72% of those destitute receiving benefits.

Responding to the report’s findings, Thomas Lawson, chief executive at anti-poverty charity Turn2us, said:

“This is a shocking increase in destitution. It is consistent with the increase in people calling our helpline who have no money at all.

“How can it be acceptable that almost three quarters of people who are destitute are receiving benefits. Our benefits system should be an important part of the national social security system that prevents people from falling into these dire circumstances in the first place. We see financial security as a right because it’s necessary for any of us to thrive.

“Financial security means enough to pay the bills and plan for the future, but it is also the feeling of security from knowing there’s a safety net there for protection. Right now, that safety net is broken.

“We join the call from JRF for all parties to right this wrong and set out their plans so that this unacceptable rise in destitution is reversed.”