The number of children living in poverty in working households has risen to record levels in Britain, reaching 2.1 million youngsters, according to a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2010.
A further 1.6 million children were in poverty in out-of-work households. And between 2008 and 2009, 13 million people were living in poverty in Britain.
The unemployment rate among those aged 16-24 was at 20 per cent by mid-2010 – the highest in 18 years and three times that for other adults.
That’s hardly surprising, given the estimates for employment in the report. By mid-2010, almost 2.5 million people in Britain were unemployed, slightly more than in 2009. In total, around 6 million were unemployed, “economically inactive” but wanting work, or employed part-time and unable to find full-time work.
And did things improve under Labour?The report looks at a ten-year assessment that “broadly represents” the Labour government, and a five-year one starting three years before the onset of the current recession. “In each case, the assessment of change is a matter of judgement rather than statistical significance,” it says. In other words, no.
The truth is that so long as there is capitalism, poverty will always be with us.