Mark Whitehead 07 June 2018

Over 1.5 million people were destitute in the UK last year

Over 1.5 million people were destitute in the UK last year image

More than 1.5 million people in the UK were pushed into destitution at some point last year, according to anti-poverty campaigners.

This meant going without the bare essentials and being 'locked out of the chance of building a decent and secure life', according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

It a combination of factors including problems with debt, benefits and health were responsible.

However in its report, Destitution in the UK 2017, the foundation says levels of extreme poverty have declined by 25% between 2015 and 2017, with changes to benefit sanctions appearing to be the most significant factor.

But it warned that the high sanction rate within the Universal Credit system could lead to an increase in levels of destitution in the future.

The total of people becoming destitute included a third of a million children, the foundation said.

It calls on the Government to end the freeze on working-age benefits, change the use of sanctions in Universal Credit so that people are not 'left destitute by design' and review the total amount of debt that can be clawed back from people receiving benefits.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the report highlights some of the significant pressures being faced by low-income households up and down the country.

Cllr Nick Forbes, senior vice-chair of the LGA, said: 'The Government needs to restore funding to councils for welfare assistance schemes so they can provide the local safety net to help those struggling to cope with welfare reforms, including the roll out of Universal Credit.

'Councils also need be able to do more to support low income households to increase their income from employment and access genuinely suitable and affordable housing. This can be achieved through a more devolved and integrated approach to employment and skills, and for closer partnership working between job centres and councils.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Front-End Developer - Learning Platform

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Personal Advisor - Leaving After Care

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Please note this is a fixed term /secondment opportunity until August 2021. (please discuss with your current manager if you are considering a secondm England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Personal Advisor - Homelessness

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Please note this is Fixed Term Contract/secondment opportunity until 31st March 2021. (please discuss with your current manager if you are considering England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Commercial Vehicle Technician

Chelmsford City Council
£30,000 per annum
We are seeking a fully trained HGV technician to work as part of the team who maintain the Council's fleet to the highest standards.  Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Social Worker - Carer Assessment Team (Fostering)

Barnet London Borough Council
£39,040.00 - £49,950.00 Per Annum
In Barnet we value our Social Care staff and we know that our biggest and most important resource are its workforce. Colindale, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Barnet London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue