One million-plus individuals in destitution in UK in 201
A British charity says as many as 1.25 million people lived in a state of “destitution” across the United Kingdom last year.
The British research and development charity Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) released the figure in a report, British newspaper Metro reported on Wednesday.
According to the charity, a person would be described as being in the state of “destitution” if he or she had to forgo two or more basic essentials in one month, lacked housing or had one without heating, lighting or water, went without decent nutrition or with none at all, or was unable to afford clothing.
Four out of every five people among the “destitute” population, which tended to include young people, were born in the UK.
The charity listed the most common causes of penury as ill health, disability, housing costs, and bills. It also named other sources as unemployment and a financial shock like a benefit sanction or delay.
The JRF’s Chief Executive Julia Unwin said, “We have to tackle these root causes. Government, businesses and communities need to work together to provide better emergency support, make basic essentials more affordable and create better jobs if we are to end destitution in the UK.”
Cited by The Guardian, a government spokesman, however, said, “The truth is that relative poverty is at the lowest level since the 1980s and the number of children in poverty has fallen by 300,000 since 2010.”
“This [JRF] report ignores a number of measures we’ve brought in to improve life chances, including the ‘national living wage,’ the extension of free childcare to 30 hours, and increases to the personal allowance.”