Researchers from the Poverty and Social Exclusion Project have published a report on living standards titled “The Impoverishment of the UK”.  The project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, produces research that identifies people below a publicly accepted minimum standard of living and has some sobering messages to impart about inequality in the UK today.

The following figures are extracted from the report:

  • Over 30 million people (almost half the population) are suffering to some degree from financial insecurity.
  • Almost 18 million in the UK today cannot afford adequate housing conditions.
  • Roughly 14 million cannot afford one or more essential household goods.
  • Almost 12 million people are too poor to engage in common social activities

considered necessary by the majority of the population

  • About 5.5 million adults go without essential clothing.
  • Around 4 million children and adults are not properly fed by today’s standards.
  • Almost 4 million children go without at least two of the things they need.
  • Around 2.5 million children live in homes that are damp
  • Around 1.5 million children live in households that cannot afford to heat their home

The research found that around a quarter of the UK’s population have a standard of living which most people would find to be unacceptable, while 28% of adults ate less to ensure others within their family had enough to eat. The authors describe the situation as “worse than it has been for the past thirty years”, and point out that the number of people living below minimum standards has doubled since 1983.

The poverty affects all aspects of life – over 1 million children have to go without essential items of clothing, while half a million have no access to a computer or the internet at home, affecting their ability to do homework .

Worryingly, this research was carried out in advance of the majority of the UK Government’s welfare reform measures were implemented, indicating that for the poorest, living standards will decrease further and the number of those suffering from multiple deprivation will continue to rise.

Read the report

Source: PSE UK