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

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
A TUC briefing on the Bill that effectively aims to abolish the Child Poverty Act.
31 July 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
New research published today (Saturday) by the TUC and Child Poverty Action Group finds that much bigger reductions to child poverty could be achieved by channelling support through Universal Credit instead of raising the income tax threshold. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The government is right to think about...
04 July 2015
The announcement today (Wednesday) by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith that current targets and duties in the Child Poverty Act will be scrapped is a u-turn from the Prime Minister’s previous commitments, says the TUC. In response to today’s announcement, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This announcement...
01 July 2015
Commenting on research published today (Wednesday) by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) – which shows that the gap between the income of many families and the cost of a decent standard of living is still much wider than before the recession – TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
01 July 2015
The government’s decision to freeze child benefit until 2018 will cost the UK’s 3.9 million households with two or more children who claim the benefit more than £2,000 by the next election – regardless of any further cuts still to be announced in the Budget – a TUC report reveals today (Monday).
29 June 2015