Insecure employment is driving poverty

Pat Thane reports on research that shows that poverty in the UK is now similar in character to the UK’s poverty a hundred years ago.

… The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found 20 per cent of the UK population in poverty in 2015-16, 60 per cent in households including an inadequately paid full-time worker. The Child Poverty Action Group estimated that 30 per cent of children in the UK (4.1 million) were in poverty in 2016-17, 67 per cent in households with at least one full-time worker. …

The government boasts about rising employment but ignores the fact that jobs are often poorly paid. A serious cause of poverty, now as in 1900, is the growing numbers on low pay in insecure employment as employers evade the minimum wage and other obligations by imposing fake self-employment and insecure contracts. …

Shocking poverty, with children starving in school holidays, is constantly in the news. If past government action reduced poverty it could do so again, in a richer country, much more knowledgeable about the causes and effects of poverty, especially the long-term effects on children.

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