Millions of people, including children and pensioners, are living below the poverty line, new research into poverty has revealed.A new report published yesterday by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) found that there are 14.3 million people in poverty in the UK, including 8.3 million working-age adults.
This figure, according to SMC, also includes 4.6 million children and 1.3 million pension-age adults.
The think tank found that, on average, those in poverty have moved closer to the poverty line now than would have been the case in 2000/01.
However, 31% of those in poverty – 4.5 million people – are more than 50% below the poverty line – a proportion that has not changed since the millennium.
About 49% of those in poverty are in ‘persistent poverty’. This means that they are in poverty now and have been for at least two of the previous three years.
The poverty rate for people living in families where all adults work full time is just 10%. This is compared to 58% where all adults work part time and 70% in workless families.
Commenting on the findings, Philippa Stroud, chair of the SMC and CEO of the Legatum Institute, said: ‘It is concerning that overall poverty has remained at almost the same level since the early 2000s, under Governments of all colours.
‘But it is also clear that beneath the surface there are significant differences in the experience of poverty among different groups of people.
‘Decisions made by policymakers can have a significant impact on who is in poverty and how deep and persistent that poverty is. These new findings highlight the urgent need for a more united and concerted approach.’