Poverty is deepening in the UK. Between 2002/03 and 2019/20 the number of people in very deep poverty (below 40% of median income after housing costs) increased by 1.8 million, from 4.7 million to 6.5 million people. Our analysis finds the face of very deep poverty is changing. Between 2002/03 and 2019/20 the risk of living in very deep poverty has:
- increased by over half for people living in large families (three or more children), to reach 18% or 1.1 million people;
- increased by a third for people in families with a disabled person, to reach 15% or 2.3 million people;
- increased by a third for people in lone-parent families, to reach 19% or 900,000 people.
Against this backdrop of intensifying poverty, JRF will be asking what it would take to ‘design-out’ destitution and deep poverty over the coming years. Through a programme of work on destitution and deep poverty we want to collaborate with others to:
- Build insight and understanding into destitution and deep poverty, looking at the drivers and dynamics.
- Convene, curate and create solutions at the national level and campaign on measures that will reduce deep poverty and end destitution.
- Undertake sustained, ambitious and practical work in one or more places, to galvanise a mission and experiment with ways to design-out destitution and deep poverty at the local level.
- Demonstrate what a more compassionate alternative to no recourse to public funds can look like and deliver.
If you would like to work with us, we would love to hear from you – contact details are at the end of this briefing.
Going without: deepening poverty in the UK (2.38 MB)
Mother and child at foodbank
Not heating, eating or meeting bills: managing a cost of living crisis on a low income
JRF is calling on the Government to immediately stop deducting debt repayments from benefits at unaffordable rates, and to strengthen our social security safety net so that people aren’t forced to choose between going without the essentials or getting into debt.
From pandemic to cost of living crisis: low-income families in challenging times
This study looks at the experiences of a group of low-income families during the second half of the pandemic, and how they have faced a changing and increasingly uncertain world.
The history of benefit uprating since 1972, and the impact of using the September 2021 inflation rate in the uprating decision for April 2022.
This study, the third in the Destitution in the UK series, reveals that even before the COVID-19 outbreak destitution was rapidly growing in scale and intensity. Since 2017 many more households, including families with children, have been pushed to the brink.