THINK TANK - The Ideas Zone....!!!, Welfare to Work

State of the nation report: poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency in the UK

The report “State of the Nation” was unveiled this morning.  It is a damning assessment of life in the UK. The Government will use it to inform policy decisions as it tackles poverty and worklessness

The Key points

  • almost one in ten people live in persistent poverty,
  • There are 800,000 more working age adults in poverty than in 1998/99
  • 1.4 million people in the UK have been on an out-of-work benefit for nine or more of the last 10 years
  • 670,000 households in the UK are eligible for benefits and tax credits of over £15,600 per year
  • health inequalities are higher now than they were in the 1970s
  • there remains a large gap in educational achievement between children from rich and poor backgrounds, with a 39 percentage point gap in gaining 5+ A*-C GCSEs between those living in the most and in the least deprived areas
  • 5.3 million people suffer from multiple disadvantages in the UK
  • people living in the poorest neighbourhoods will, on average, die seven years earlier than people living in the richest neighbourhoods

Against international comparisons the report concludes that income inequality in the UK is at its highest level since comparable statistics began in 1961.

In the UK, the proportion of children growing up in workless households, and the proportion of young people not in work, education or training, is higher than in almost any other European country.

Many have rightly concluded that we are in for a hard time as we pull ourselves out of the economic crisis, however this report suggests that for many they were already having a hard time ……..

...the credit crunch?

what credit crunch …? they have never had credit, they have always been poor, disadvantaged and left behind…

Have they have been failed by successive governments ……. or have they been failed by  providers…(?).


  1. so you can see the total of benefit claiments make up a very high proportion indeed of
    those in poverty

    and sometimes those with children in their homes are not those of born to variety but those that child mind,foster and adopt
    some of those will be those with severe and challenging special needs and cannot hope to work outside of the home as well
    they are relient on benefits and fostering or adoption allowances that only really start to help in the last 3 to 5 years of receiving them
    They are somtimes starting with adoption allowances as low as 40 per week based on boarding out allowances.

    I could not understand the logic of not paying the Born to parents sufficient to enable a family to thrive and them give up their children for adoption and go through and repeat it all again but through illness and poverty many do.

    I know some parents are abusers and neglectful of nature but the majority do care and want to care better.

    I used to think the reason we struggled to get good carers to help with our Autistic son was because good carers were caring elswhere
    but i know they are also looking for something better financially to do to make ends meet.

    so where are the 800,000 jobs that are needed to put all sick and disabled and the unemployed back into work even if they are up to it.

    and are they local

    cos most cannot sustain care in the community for povertised young people and children and work and travel there are just not enough hours in the day.

    I am currently myself on a ESA assessment phase waiting for a tribunal to get paid work rate ESA argueing if i am fit to work with a Psychiatrist who advocates work but he knows how many more of his client base are needing more money and i am sure he is aware of the number of young people leaving schools and colleges also needing enough to live on and although by discussion topic i keep many of his staff in work and so does my son

    I have yet to find a role other than volunteering my services free if a suitable role can be found……….to so called earn my benefits.

    But as already conveyed to you benefits are not enough for so many to live on

    the welfare system may well be BUST but unless you shore it up and mend it
    poverty is what ensues for many more………who then give jobs for some
    but even the most experienced social worker,nurse and volunteer worker cannot help people budget for what is needed to resume a good progressive economy
    without the funds to budget with.

    poverty breeds poverty without someone spending as more and more people are put out of work or become ill and disabled trying to cope with a job they cannot cope with

    • Well said Mrs Neary. The balance needs to be right. I totally agree that it is very difficult to find work that will really help people pull themselves out of poverty.
      Over the next few months it will be important to ensure that a dialogue between claimants, providers, jobcentre plus, DWP and the government takes place.

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