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

A new JRF report finds that millions of working families are struggling to afford a decent standard of living. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Working families are facing a hard time, with prices rising faster than wages. And government cuts to tax credits are making a bad situation worse.
06 July 2017
Commenting on today’s (Tuesday) report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which sets out a national strategy to reduce poverty, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said
06 September 2016
More than a million families with a household income below £30,000 are in extreme debt, and ongoing wage stagnation is making the problem worse, according to a new report published today (Tuesday) by the TUC and UNISON.
23 August 2016
Commenting on the latest national data on working age poverty published today (Tuesday), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We can tell how strong the economy is, and how fair it is, from how well working families are doing. But since the Conservative-led government took office in 2010, there has...
28 June 2016
New figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the reduction in workless households since 1996 are evidence of the success of tax credits, says the TUC. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The proportion of children in workless households has almost halved since 1996. It...
06 October 2015
Held Back By Debt, a new report published today (Monday) by the debt charity Step Change, highlights the high risk of problem debt for families reliant on zero-hours jobs, fixed-term jobs and self-employment, says the TUC. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The growth of household debt not only threatens...
28 September 2015
The number of households with problem debt has increased by 700,000 (28 per cent) since 2012, according to new TUC and UNISON-commissioned research published today (Tuesday). The report, Britain in the Red, shows that in 2014 one in eight households (3.2 million) were over-indebted compared to one in ten (2.5 million) in 2012.
08 September 2015
New research published today (Monday) by the TUC shows that the poorest working households will lose on average £460 a year by 2020 due to government changes to tax and benefits, despite the Chancellor’s minimum wage increase. However, the richest working households will be made £670 a year better off.
07 September 2015
Are you struggling to pay your bills due to irregular hours and low pay? Are you finding it hard to get affordable childcare? Have you experienced discrimination in the workplace? The TUC want to hear from people who have jobs with these kinds of problems. This is to help us...
03 August 2015
"Reforms to Universal Credit" is a new report, published by the TUC and the Child Poverty Action Group, showing that far more child could be lifted out of poverty by enhancing Universal Credit instead of raising the income tax threshold - and at a fraction of the cost. The report,...
06 July 2015