Friday, 4 November 2016

Four ways to improve the lives of people living in poverty.

There are 13.5 million people living in poverty in the UK, a shocking figure for a major economy.

Ahead of the chancellor's Autumn statement the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have put forward four ideas that could improve their lives.

The first of these is reinstating annual rises for working age benefits if the price of essential goods rises.

They call for the government to recognise the economic importance low waged sectors not to be overlooked within any industrial strategy and for ministers and business leaders to work together to improve productivity.

It is, they say, important that the government increases funding for shared ownership and affordable housing programmes, with housing associations being able to leverage their resources in order to deliver the right type of housing and support affordable rental schemes.

The foundation calls for the government to use leaving the EU as an opportunity to design a regional policy that is responsive to local priorities and opportunities, recommending the creation of a rebalancing fund to offset the loss of European Structural and Investment Fund money.

These suggestions mirror many of the policies on which the Green Party fought the last general election, polling over a million votes and connecting with a public tired of economic and social policies that put the interests big business first.

The UK is one of the most unequal societies in the developed world, poverty and the social problems that go hand in hand with it are a major drag on our economy.

If we wish to have a secure and sustainable future we need to tackle poverty and improve social mobility, the suggestions made by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation represent an important step towards that goal.

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