Turn2us response to Joseph Rowntree Foundation UK Poverty report


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“Compelling evidence of a failing system” – cross-party leadership needed.


The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's new UK Poverty report shows how millions of people on the lowest incomes would need to double their income just to escape poverty.

Responding to the report’s findings, Michael Clarke, head of information programmes at anti-poverty charity Turn2us, says:

“The latest findings by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and the urgent call by Gordon Brown for an overhaul of the benefits system, underscore the dire situation of deepening poverty levels in the UK. At Turn2us, we are confronted daily with the harsh realities faced by those grappling with financial insecurity. Their stories aren't just data points; they are compelling evidence of a failing system. 

"It is imperative for all political parties, particularly in the run-up to the election, to listen to these lived experiences. Policies must be shaped and informed by the voices of those directly affected by financial insecurity. This approach is not only about addressing immediate needs but also about systemic change. The current state of deepening poverty is a direct result of the erosion of the real-terms value of benefits and a punitive approach to social security. Policies such as the two-child limit, the benefits cap, and deductions have only exacerbated the inability of many to cope with cost-of-living shocks. 

"It's time to look beyond tweaks. We need to collaboratively redesign the Social Security system with lived experience at its heart, to not only act as a safety net but also to reinstate dignity and security for those impacted by poverty. This systemic approach needs to genuinely reflect the lived experiences of those in need. The introduction of the 'Essentials Guarantee' in Universal Credit is a step in the right direction. 

"Turn2us stands committed to working towards a future where financial security is a reality for all, not just a privilege for some. It's time for all our political leaders to listen, act, and make meaningful changes that reflect the lived experiences of those most in need."