Poverty / Social Exclusion

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This page deals with poverty in the UK. Union and their members have always been concerned about poverty - William Beveridge called the TUC “the godfathers of the Beveridge report”.

Before the welfare state, many unions ran welfare services that were often the only place working people could turn to in times of need. Our experience of the problems with these services – unions simply weren’t big enough or rich enough to meet the standards we set for ourselves - meant that we became one of the main forces for the creation of social security. After Beveridge, unions negotiated strong occupational pension schemes that have helped this country to reduce the number of pensioners in poverty. Union members have been leaders in campaigns to defend the welfare state and have supported charities and voluntary organisations that have filled the gaps where the welfare state is patchy.

Here there are links to facts and arguments for trade unionists interested in or campaigning against poverty


We take a look at what happened at the TUC Making Work Pay? What role can the welfare state play in raising living standards? conference held on 8th December 2014. It focused on the impact of the current high levels of unemployment and falling average weekly earnings, low-paid workers and...
11 December 2014
Seasons Playhouse — a youth theatre group — will be hosting a play and community discussion about low incomes in Liverpool, as young people see it. Using input of over 140 young people from around Merseyside, they have created a play called “Brass Razoo”, to be shown during Living Wage...
24 October 2014
Today (Wednesday) as the Royal Court of Justice starts hearing a case against the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), a TUC-backed film – in which severely disabled people explain how the fund has helped them – is being distributed online. A judicial review brought by three disabled people...
22 October 2014
Pensioner families across the UK will suffer social security cuts worth £6.38bn a year by the time the government’s welfare reforms have taken full affect, the TUC warns today (Sunday) ahead of a new report on the impact of social security cuts published later this week.
17 August 2014
Most people who lose their jobs will soon have to wait five weeks before they get any cash help, according to small print in the Universal Credit rules uncovered by the TUC as it launches a new campaign today (Wednesday), Saving Our Safety Net. A YouGov poll reports opposition of...
16 July 2014
Commenting on the publication today (Tuesday) of a government-commissioned analysis of the bedroom tax, which shows that many affected tenants are being pushed into arrears, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
15 July 2014
Shadow Public Health Minister, Luciana Berger MP, last week visited three of the TUC’s Digital Hubs to see the work that is being done by the project to improve the basic digital skills of thousands of Liverpool residents. The digital hubs project is facilitated by the North West TUC and...
08 July 2014
Commenting on a new analysis of earnings growth over the last 40 years, published today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The last 40 years show a picture of growing wage inequality. The more you earn, the faster your pay goes up, while...
03 July 2014
Commenting on the latest Household Below Average Income figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics – which show that between 2010/11 and 2012/13 the number of working age adults in absolute poverty increased by a million, and the number of children by half a million – TUC...
01 July 2014
In this paper, we ask if social mobility is going into reverse. What are the connections between social mobility and inequality? And what policies might help a recovery of social mobility? These answers are important, because stalled social mobility is at the heart of the modern battle of ideas.
13 May 2014

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