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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 â€“ 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