Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on poverty and social exclusion

On 1 December 2011, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published ‘Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2011’.

The annual report on the state of poverty and social exclusion in the UK, from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the New Policy Institute, covers a wide range of issues, ranging from low income, worklessness and debt, to ill-health, poor education and problems in communities.

The research by Hannah Aldridge, Anushree Parekh, Tom MacInnes and Peter Kenway highlights the following key points:

  • In the year to 2009/10, the child poverty rate fell to 29%, the second fall in two years. Child poverty fell by around one-seventh under the previous Labour Government.
  • The poverty rate for working-age adults without dependent children rose both in 2009/10 and over the last decade. It now stands at 20%.
  • The pensioner poverty rate, at 16%, is now around half the rate it was in 1997.
  • By mid-2011, six million people were unemployed, lacking but wanting work or working part-time because no full time job was available. Though no higher than the previous year, this was 2 million higher than in 2004.
  • On a range of education indicators at ages 11, 16 and 19, more pupils are reaching expected standards than in previous years, continuing long-term positive trends. Although closing slowly, the gaps between attainment levels of those on free school meals and other children are smaller than in previous years.
  • The proportion of households in fuel poverty has risen significantly in the last few years. Almost all households in the bottom tenth by income are in fuel poverty, as are half of households in the second bottom tenth.
  • Changes to the tax credit system mean that an additional 1.4m working households on low incomes now face marginal effective tax rates of over 70%.
  • The number of households accepted as homeless in England rose in 2010/11 for the first time since 2003/04 and now stands at 65,000. The number of court orders for mortgage repossessions in England and Wales rose to 21,000 in the first half of 2011, the first significant rise for three years.

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