– Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Today’s Bill is bad news for people living in poverty, whether they’re in work or out of work. Clearly, there are difficult decisions to be taken by Government, but Ministers’ opportunistic rhetoric on this issue is disturbing. Allowing today’s Bill to be presented as a choice between the ‘deserving and ‘underserving poor’ is both morally and economically wrong.
As incomes fall and costs rise for people – whether they are in or out of work - we are at risk of entering a decade of destitution.
Over 6 million people classed as being in poverty live in households where people work, according to a new report.
Excluding pensioners, in-work poverty now outstrips workless poverty, say the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).
The Monitoring Poverty report, written by the New Policy Institute (NPI), also found that spending on benefits and tax credits has never been higher, at 13% of GDP.
Julia Unwin, chief executive of JRF, said: "The level of in-work poverty is the most distinctive characteristic of poverty today.
"We need a relentless focus on fixing the labour market to ensure people have the opportunity to improve their prospects."