FACT SHEET POVERTY and WEALTH in the UK

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POVERTY and WEALTH in the UK
Mothers’ and children’s poverty

• 3.5 million children (1 in 4) live in poverty. 2/3 have a parent in employment. Over 50% of children of colour are in poverty. Children with a disabled parent are more likely to live in severe poverty. (Child Poverty Action Group & others.)

• Over 40% of single parent families live in poverty (93% of single parents are mothers).

Fuel poverty

• 5.3 million households live in fuel poverty; expected to rise to 9 million by 2016. (Children Society 2013)

• More than 50% of children in poverty say their houses are too cold. (Children Society 2013)

• Fuel bills have risen 28% in the past 3 years. (ONS; Ofgem) The six leading energy companies are estimated to have overcharged consumers by £3.7bn. (Guardian, 30 Oct 13)

• 3 million older people (28% of pensioners) fear they can’t afford to stay warm. Cold homes will kill 24,000 more people this winter. (Age UK research, Oct 2013; ONS July 2013)

Food insecurity

• 1 in 4 low income mothers skip meals to feed their children.

• The Trussell Trust provided food to over 350,000 people between April-September 2013, three times as many as the same period last year. A third were children. They expect this to double next year. (Trussell Trust Press Release, World Food Day,16 Oct 2013)

• 2.4 children in every class in England and Wales arrive at school with hunger pains. (Mirror, 29 Oct 2013)

Low wages

• Minimum Wage in 2013: £2.68 (apprentice), £3.72 (under 18), £5.08 (under 21), £6.31 (over 21). It is worth £1,000 less a year than in 2008.
Living Wage: £7.45 an hour out of London; £8.85 in London (Joseph Rowntree Foundation).

• 5.24 million workers (20% of workers) earned less than the living wage in 2013; 8% more than last year. 25% of women, 15% of men; 77% of under 20s. (Living Wage Research 2013, Markit Economics, Work Foundation)

• Single mothers doing the double day (caring and earning) get lower weekly wages than men: £337 women, £491 men (average), that is 68% of men.

• One in 10 carers including those in care homes (220,000 workers) are paid less than £5 an hour, many on zero hour contracts. (Resolution Foundation research, Daily Telegraph, 8 Nov 2013)

• Up to 5.5 million workers are on zero-hours contracts earning an average of £500 a month. (Unite research, BBC News, 9 Sept 2013)

Benefit and pay cuts

• Cuts in benefits and pay have reduced household budgets by 4bn; £3.8bn (94%) has come from women. (House of Commons Library, April 2013)

• Families with children (1/3 of working-age families) bear almost 2/3 of spending cuts.

• Of those losing £50-£350+ a week due to the £500 benefit cap, 3/4 are single parents, mostly mothers. (DWP pilot scheme, August 2013)

• 1/3 of people have gone to food banks because of delayed benefit payments. Some mothers who had ‘been sanctioned for seemingly illogical reasons’ had not eaten for days. (From a Trussell Trust press release)

• People leaving hospital after a major operation have found their benefits stopped or delayed. (From a Trussell Trust press release)

• Nearly half a million people received court summons for council tax debts since Council Tax Benefit was abolished in April 2013 – including 65,000 people with disabilities and 12,000 carers. (Independent, 11 Oct 2013)

Wealth in the UK

• The richest 1,000 people got richer by £155bn in three years – enough to pay off the UK deficit with £30bn to spare. (Michael Meacher MP)

• Boardroom pay in the top 100 UK companies rose 27% last year.

• Tax avoidance by large companies and wealthy individuals is at least £35bn. (Guardian 29 Oct 2013)

Global wealth

• Global wealth has risen by 68% over the past 10 years – $241 trillion? (Credit Suisse)

• The top 1% own 46% of all global assets; the bottom 2/3 of the world population own 3%. (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk, 8 November 2013)
 

Information compiled by Crossroads Women
contact@crossroadswomen.net
(November 2013)
 

 

 

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