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Charity: 'Work needs to become a route out of poverty'

Liveable wages and early intervention are they key to helping families out of poverty, a children's charity has said.

Save the Children's director of UK poverty policy, William Higham, praised Government plans to cut energy bills for Britain's poorest families but urged more action to tackle child poverty:

With child poverty predicted to rise by a million by 2020, more children will be growing up without the basics we expect, like a warm home and a winter coat.

The proposed government action on energy prices and insurance will make a difference - but we can't just bail out families, we need to fix the leak.

Work needs to become a route out of poverty and we must intervene early to help the poorest families and make sure their children don't fall behind at school.

– William Higham

'£50 cuts to energy bills' to tackle child poverty

Government plans to tackle child poverty may include a £50 cut to energy bills, according to reports.

Draft measurers seen by the Observer newspaper include:

  • An extension of the £135 warm home discount, which is currently available only to older people.
  • Reducing water costs by introducing a cap on bills for low-income families on a water meter with three of more children.
  • Wider eligibility for free school meals and free school transport.
  • Building more affordable housing.
  • Introducing a cap on payday lending.


'Controversial' changes to poverty definition on hold

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith's controversial plans to change the definition of poverty have been put hold with the Department of Work and Pensions due to put forward a strategy to tackle child poverty instead.

Iain Duncan-Smith's plans to introduce a new definition and targets for child poverty have been blocked by George Osborne. Credit: PA

Unconfirmed reports suggest the Government's three-year strategy includes radical plans to cut water, food and fuel bills for low-income families as well as measure to tackle "worklessness" in the poorest households.

In an joint Guardian article with Chancellor George Osborne, Mr Duncan Smith said the Conservatives remained "committed to introducing better measures of child poverty - measures that drive the right action to bring about a real change in children's lives now and in the future.

Under Labour, "the wrong measures based on inadequate data and simplistic analysis drive misguided and ineffective policy", the pair added.

Child poverty 'lowest in 25 years'

Child poverty in the UK has fallen to 27 per cent, its lowest rate for almost 25 years, a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found.

20 percent adults without children live in poverty. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The report says that since the early 1990s, the total number of people in poverty has barely changed.

However, the mix of pensioners, working-age adults and children living bellow the poverty line has changed dramatically.

While pensioner poverty is now at one third of its level in the late 1980s, the number of working-age adults without dependent children living in poverty is now 20 per cent.

This is the highest in at least 30 years.

Five million people 'paid below the living wage'

A research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that five million workers are paid below the living wage. There are now more working families living in poverty than non-working ones, the research has found.

"While the labour market has shown signs of revival in the last year, the number of people in low-paid jobs has risen and average incomes have fallen," the report said.

The report also says job insecurity is increasingly common in the UK. It says one in six members of the workforce has claimed Jobseekers' Allowance at some point in the last two years.

Read: Most families in poverty 'in work'

Majority of families in poverty 'in work'

There are more working families living in poverty in the UK than non-working ones, new research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed.

It is the first time such a balance has been recorded.

For the first time, the majority of people who live in poverty have one person in their household in employment. Credit: PA

Some 6.7 million working families live below the poverty line, an increase of 500,000 on last year, compared with a combined 6.3 million of retired families and the out-of-work, the charity said.


Premature deaths higher in north of England

People living in the north of England have a greater risk of dying early than those in the south, according to a national league table of premature death rates published.

For the first time, where you live and how long you will live, have been mapped across England.

The league table uses colour codes - red for where you are more likely to have a shorter life and green where people live longer.

The north of England is doing significantly worse than elsewhere, with Manchester and Blackpool recording the worst results for premature deaths.

Rupert Evelyn reports from the Lancashire resort on how it is trying to turn that around.

Hunt: We must learn lessons from north-south divide

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told ITV Daybreak that local authorities can learn lessons in the north-south divide.

People living in the north of England have a greater risk of dying early than those in the south, according to a table released by the government today.

The Health Secretary said: "All these areas have different programmes happening on the ground. We want them to learn from each other".

Poll shows one-third of Brits have lost faith in the NHS

A Daybreak One Poll has revealed that one-third of the population have lost faith in the NHS (35.8%).

The poll comes on the day that the government revealed the "shocking" death divide between north and south.

In the same poll 54.9% of Brits think the NHS has suffered under the coalition government.

20.2% did not think the NHS had suffered under the coalition government and 24.9% did not know.

League table shows Manchester has highest death rate

  • In Manchester, there were 455 premature deaths per 100,000 people from 2009 to 2011.
  • The region has the highest death rate from cancer in the country, with 152 deaths per 100,000 people recorded, as well as from heart disease and stroke, with 116 deaths per 100,000 people.
  • Blackpool has the highest rates for liver and lung disease, with 39 and 62 premature deaths per 100,000 respectively in that time.
  • Wokingham has the lowest overall premature mortality rate with 200 such deaths in the same period, making it the best in the list of 150 local authorities.
  • It is also the best region for heart disease and stroke, with the lowest number of deaths - 40 per 100,000 from 2009 to 2011.
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