A million more adults in poverty, figures show
The Government insists that relative poverty is falling
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Tuesday 01 July 2014
Further evidence of Britain’s “living standards crisis” emerged yesterday in official figures suggesting that a million more working age adults had fallen into poverty.
Trade union leaders seized on the annual statistics, saying they showed that between 2010-11 and 2012-13, one million more adults and half a million more children went into absolute poverty after housing costs. The figures rose from 7.7m to 8.7m for adults and 3.6m to 4.1m for children over the two-year period.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: “These figures clearly show why living standards are falling. While wages have stagnated, and benefits and tax credits have been cut, prices have been rising: especially the cost of housing.”
But the Government insisted that relative poverty - the most commonly used measure - was falling.
The Department of Work and Pensions said: “The number of people in poverty has fallen by 100,000 over the past year and in-work poverty fell with 200,000 fewer working age adults in families where someone works in poverty.
"The percentage of individuals in relative poverty is now at the lowest level since the 1980s. Child poverty remains at its lowest level since the 1980s having fallen by 300,000 since 2009-10.”
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